COVID-19 AWARENESS: Please note that we are taking all necessary precautions to keep our on-air personalities, interviewees and crew safe during this challenging time. However, we do run repeat stories and segments that were shot earlier this year, before social distancing practices were recommended by health officials. If you see our hosts standing close to someone, please be assured that the segment was shot before March of 2020. We thank you for your concern and your interest in Garden Time.
Greetings all. We are just a week away from the start of our 16th season of Garden Time. We have had a weird, strange and at times, wonderful winter as most of you have had as well. We are just a few days away from getting our power back and dealing with all the snow and ice. Now we move on to getting excited for the upcoming gardening season. We’re so happy that you have decided to join us on a new journey in the garden!
Enjoy this quick review of these past stories from the show.
Blueberries are a very popular fruit. If you have them in your garden you might notice that they will produce less and less over time. This is because of a lack of pruning. The plant will continue to produce vegetative growth (leaves and branches) as it grows and all the plant energy will go into this ‘green’ growth. By pruning your plant you will focus the plant on fruit production instead. To learn what you should do we stopped by the Smith Berry Barn and talked with Rich, one of the owners, about the steps you need to follow to do it right. First you will need to look at your plant. Take a survey of what you want to do and visualize the end result. How tall do you want the plant and how wide? Then go in and cut out the diseased and broken canes. Next look for crossing branches and remove those. You will need to limit the heavy pruning to 2 or 3 mature canes, they are generally an older brown color. Never remove more than a third of the plant when cutting. Try to keep the base of the plant narrow and open up the center of the plant to promote airflow. This type of pruning will promote new cane growth and more fruit in the future. You can tell these newer canes by their brighter green color.
If you are looking for a little more ‘hands-on’ tutoring you can come to a blueberry pruning class at Smith Berry Barn next weekend, the 6th of March at their farm in Scholls. Rich will be giving hands on demonstrations starting with fruit trees at 10am and berries at noon. You can check out their website for more details. The class is free and if you attend you can save up to 20% on fruit trees and berry plants. You can also check out their website for more information and a listing of other classes and events.
Spring Iris Tips
Spring is a little early for iris, but not if you are a fan of Schreiner’s Iris Gardens (1-800-525-2367). They are starting to sell their iris now! This year they are offering a small iris in a pot. It is ready to go in the ground and it will bloom this spring, just in case you forgot to plant last fall. Ben Schreiner showed us how easy it can be done.
It is also tulip time, one of the first flowers of spring, but if you are an iris lover now is the time to think about those too! Our friends at Schreiner’s shared a tip that helps their iris plants thrive and look beautiful too. Right now is the time to fertilize your iris. They package and use a low nitrogen fertilizer in the garden, that you can get through their website, or you can use a low nitrogen product from your garden center. They also apply a little slug bait now too. As those tender leaves start to emerge, they are a tasty treat for the slugs. Slug bait now and you will have healthier plants with no chew marks on the leaves! For a selection of iris and more iris information, you can check out their website. You will also find their selections of Daylilies and Oriental Lilies as well!
TOW – Trimming Hellebore Leaves
Our tip of the week involves hellebores and cutting the foliage. You can do this in spring once the hellebores starts to bloom. By cutting the old leaves off you can enjoy the flowers without all that beat up and tattered foliage. Don’t worry, in late spring the new leaves will grow in and the plant will continue to grow and be healthy.