Grow Monster CosmosWritten by Jenny Harker
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After your seedlings sprout thin till they?re six to twelve inches apart. Ease off on water, but don?t let your seedlings dry out. Remember, cosmos is a drought plant. But even drought plants need water. Fertilize seedlings ONE TIME ONLY by spraying them with compost tea. Compost tea is cow manure left to rot in a bucket of water for a few days. I know, it sounds disgusting. It smells even worse. Compost tea is not only an effective safe and cheap organic fertilizer for entire garden, but it also helps keep bugs at bay. Strain foul-smelling water into a spray bottle and then spray directly onto plants. But what is final vital secret you need to know to successfully grow monster size cosmos? Here it is: After seedlings form adult leaves (at four to six inches) carefully strip lower leaves, side branches, and any buds off seedling leaving two top leaves. Your plants will look ridiculous. You may catch yourself apologizing to them (I can?t help it! They look so naked!). Repeatedly stripping leaves until seedlings reach two feet in height encourages growth. After reaching two feet in height stop stripping. The plants should take off, seemingly growing overnight. One morning you?ll walk out your door and be amazed by huge colorful plants in your garden. And then you?ll grin. Allow yourself a snicker or two while glancing at your neighbors? yards. Hey, you?ve earned it after all your hard work! Your monster cosmos will provide you with bouquets clear into fall. Be sure to give plenty of flowers to your envious neighbors.
Jenny Harker is an avid gardener and writer of all things gardening
Orange Perennials For Your GardenWritten by Lee Dobbins
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Helianthemum - Blooms This is a good ground cover that blooms in summer It is easy to grow on rocky slopes and creates a border of color. If you are lucky it will bloom twice, once in early summer and then again in late summer.
Oriental Poppy Beautiful orange flowers that bloom in spring and grow to 24. These beautiful perennials like a sunny spot with well drained soil.
Torch lily - This interesting perennial blooms in summer and produces spikes of orange cone shaped flowers that can grow to 6 feet. It likes to be planted in a sunny location and is great for zones 5 10. This plant attracts hummingbirds! Trumpet Creeper I had one of these beautiful vines growing wild up my chimney. It blooms in mid to late summer and has trumpet shaped flowers that hang from its lush vines. It will cling to anything and can grow up to 30 feet. It can also grow as a shrub when it has nothing to cling to. It grows quickly and also attracts hummingbirds.
Lee Dobbins is owner and editor of Backyard Garden And Patio where you can learn how to turn your backyard into an oasis and find out more about garden flowers