Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fall Flowers

Teddy is very happy to be back outside working in the gardens.

She is much more of an observer than a worker.

Since I haven't been gardening in quite a while, I thought I would put up a gardening post. Fall is an excellent time of year to garden. It is a great time to plant and a particularly great time to find deals on plants. Most garden centers can barely pay their staff to keep up on the watering let alone trim the plants to keep them healthy. Many plants become root bound and too overgrown for their pots. They mark them down very low just to get rid of them. Yesterday, I found pots of Gerbera daisies on sale. As you can see, they originally were 12.98 a pot.

These will just be annuals in my climate and I really hate spending that kind of money on annuals. So, when I saw that they were marked down to $1.00 each, I grabbed a bunch of them. They were not too healthy looking but I knew they had potential. Half way through preparing them to plant, I thought it might be good to post this on the blog.

First I remove the plant from the pot. Then I remove any obvious rotten or dried out blooms and foliage. I already removed it before this photo. See what I found way in the middle? A new flower trying to force it's way to the top. Often these blooms will die before they make it to the sun because of the dense interior.

I work my way around the plant clipping any yellow or broken leaves and pulling out spent flowers.

Some of the leaves will be distorted because they have grown crooked trying to find sun. Be bold and cut them off too!

Look..another little blossom trying to survive.

I spread the inner leaves with my fingers and thin them out too. When I say thin.....I mean thin. Cut away!!! This is the healthy thing to do.

Look at all the tiny new parts hiding under the dense foliage! Show them the light!

This is a dirty job. I wear my garden clogs and my Japanese gardening bloomers. They are more like bloomers than pants but I love them because they have built in knee pads.

You will often have more refuse than you have plant when you are done.

These are some flowers that I had to divide and replant. I'm not going to say who planted them incorrectly, it just wasn't me......ermmmm!! I am not sure if they will make it, but I am giving it my best shot.

Here is one of the 'healthy' Gerberas after cleaning it up and planting it. I am telling you, head straight to the sad looking sale racks at the garden center. There is gold in them there racks.

Oh, and if you live with someone who is a bit lame in the gardening skills department, and you might have to transplant things that should not need to be transplanted if planted correctly, prepare to chop the crap out of them too. This is such a perfect time of year for this. The direct sun is not as intense and the nights and mornings are becoming cooler. Hopefully you will get rain....I will save my catastrophic rain story for tomorrow. Your plants will thrive and grow quickly.

This is the remaining cluster after thinning it for several hours....grrrr!!!!

Always remember to soak anything newly transplanted as soon as possible. Don't dump buckets on it! Just let a steady stream of water soak the area around it.

And always remember this as well, gardens are not perfect. They have a tendency to do what they want. This is the oregano that used to live in the raised bed. It is much smarter than I. Not only does it do better on the dry sun soaked gravel path, it smells wonderful when you walk on it.

Remember this garden totem?

Here is one of the sad little flowers that had it's growth stunted by the overgrown pot.

* I will keep you posted on the progress and tell you the rain story tomorrow!