Monday, March 12, 2012

Create more Color - Deadheading and Fertilizing

Vibrant color, healthy plants!

Creating more Color
Adding color to your landscape is one of the most satisfying results a gardener or landscaper can have. As the weather is warming up, your flowers are in the prime of their production ... especially if you deadhead your flowers and small shrubs and feed them nutrients.

First, some people wonder, "What is deadheading?" Well, it's not following the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia in this case! In this case, deadheading refers
to removing the spent flower from the plant so it produces more flowers. When you take away the opportunity for the plant to create seeds, the plant will produce more flowers to ensure the continuation of its species. When you remove the spent head of the flower, besides making the plant look attractive again (see picture to the right), you make the plant work hard to reproduce.

 There are several ways to deadhead a plant. Dianthus, for example, you can shear back all at once. It won't take long for them to recover. For flowers like pansies,
petunias and snapdragons and most other annuals, you should be more proactive and cut, or pinch, them as often as possible. This will ensure you don't have a lack of color (like the plant to the left) and you can enjoy the beauty that you wanted when you planted them. Spending some time in the garden to promote healthier plants and adding color is a benefit you'll enjoy throughout the growing season!

Another beneficial thing you can do for your plants and flowers is to fertilize them, also known as giving them nutrients. A complete fertilizer will contain the three macro-nutrients of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K). It may also have other trace nutrients. Feeding a plant at least these three basic nutrients will ensure a healthy, vibrant plant capable of producing flowers without weakening, or stressing, the plant.

Plants need to be fed, just like people and animals, and making sure you give them nutrients to plants  pays huge dividends for the gardener or landscaper; they have the energy to produce more flowers and remain healthy. Click on the links to get more information if you want to delve deeper. Remember, the bottom line is a beautiful garden or landscape, and that's just some of the basics we want to make sure you are aware of! Enjoy your color!

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