SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

June 21, 2013

When to keep growing, when to cut back

(Continued)

And what about those numbers? What do they mean? These numbers stand for the percentage of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash or potassium in the fertilizer, and are always given in that same order — always nitrogen first, then phosphate, then potash. Keep this in mind when you compare sizes and prices of fertilizers. As an example, 100 pounds of 10-5-10 would always contain 10 pounds (10 percent) nitrogen, 5 pounds (5 percent) phosphate, and 10 pounds (10 percent) potash or potassium. See? It’s almost easy!

Q: What is the best way to cut back my peonies now that the flowers are starting to die?

A: Cut just the dead flower heads after they’ve bloomed, but allow the foliage to grow all summer. In the fall, when hard frost has killed the greenery, clean out the bed thoroughly to prevent the old mulch from becoming a warm place for the winter. After a hard frost, cut back remaining foliage to about 4 inches high for the winter. Remember to remove and destroy all dead leaves and stems to prevent disease.

Q: When can I cut the old stems from all of the spring bulbs? I tied the bunches of foliage together like a teepee thinking they would look nicer over the summer, but now they look like mush or slime.

A: It’s time to gently clip the leaves from your spring bulbs. The leaves have been growing and conserving energy for next year’s crop, but now they have turned brown and their job is done for another year. Gently remove the now-soggy leaves by hand, or cut them about 4 inches from the ground. If you wait long enough, they will gently pull out without cutting. But can you stand looking at those mushy yellow leaves for another month?

Q: My hosta has come out with damaged leaves. Is it bugs? Could I have cleaned out too early this spring and accidently “frozen” the young plant? The rest of my perennials were fine. I’ve got to divide some of them this fall. Will I be transplanting bugs as well?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Dear Abby: Younger couples weigh in on how they handle money Dear Readers: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife c

    July 22, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm eit

    July 21, 2014

  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 21

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20

    Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief The Rev. Wesley Williams will be the featured guest for the 9:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday, July 27, at Holy Trinity United Methodist Church, 16 Sylvan St., Danvers. Williams will use the sermon time to lead in the singing of spirituals and give

    July 19, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Saturday, July 19 Church Yard Sale, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Our Lady of Fatima Church, 50 Walsh Ave., Peabody. Church-sponsored yard sale features home furnishings, clothing, children's items, furniture and more. Portuguese food will also be available. All

    July 19, 2014

  • North Shore Gardener: Can 10-year-old plant food be used? Q: As I am getting older, my gardening is less and less, but I do have three potted cherry tomato plants on my deck. I wonder if some Vigoro Water Soluble Tomato and Vegetable Plant Food that I have had in my garage for about 10 years would be safe a

    July 18, 2014

  • Dr. Kate's Parent Rap: 6 strategies to help your child build self-advocacy skills As tweens enter middle school, they are expected to manage increased responsibility and independence. Included in this set of expectations is their ability to self-advocate for their needs. Self-advocacy refers to an individual's ability to effective

    July 18, 2014

  • doughboys_2 Book Notes: Author discusses World War I at Wenham Museum All the veterans Richard Rubin interviewed for "The Last of the Doughboys," which was published in 2013, are dead now. Given that his subjects ranged in age from 101 to 113, and he started looking for them in 2003, that is hardly surprising. What re

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • womaninyard Quick pick 'East End Open Studio' An art show featuring the work of 15 artists who all live and work in the East End District of Ipswich is on view this weekend at the Ipswich Moving Company Studio at 2 Cogswell St. in Ipswich. The show is called "East End Open

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker