Grow Monster CosmosWritten by Jenny Harker
Every year I plant cosmos variety ?Versailles? by seed, as well as ?Seashell?, ?Sonata?, and ?Psycho?, in my garden (Cosmos bipannutus, Hardy to Zone 5). And every year my cosmos reach six feet or more in height, four feet in diameter, and drip with so many flowers it takes me hours to deadhead. Want same results in your garden? Read on: The cosmos thrives in drought conditions. But complete neglect will kill it while too much of opposite will produce, as my frustrated neighbor calls it, ?straggly weeds?. Here are my rules for growing towering Cosmos: 1.Choose a garden bed in full all-day sun. Cosmos love heat and hate shade. Good air circulation is always a plus. 2.Start from seed. Your plants will grow a stronger root system if seeded directly into garden bed. You?ll get better results if you start from seed instead of transplants. 3.Sow your seeds in a bed of loose average soil at least a foot deep. Cosmos like to spread their roots. The bigger root system bigger plant. 4.Fertilize one time when plants are seedlings. After that fertilize ONLY if your plants look pale. Too much fertilizer causes few flowers to develop. 5.Keep reading for one vital secret you need to grow towering cosmos, or ?her funky Christmas trees? as a neighbor?s boy once described.
When I plant I scatter seeds across a well-worked sunny garden bed and then work in seeds with my fingers (like tossing a salad) until seeds are approximately two inches deep. I then pat dirt lightly. Keep bed moist but don?t drown your babies. Watering in morning is best. It keeps seedlings moist during warmest parts of day. If your seedlings dry out from heat or extreme wind during day then water once more. Watering at night can cause your seedlings to develop fungi, as will watering your lawn at night. Moisture plus warmth plus good air circulation is a must for seedlings.
Orange Perennials For Your GardenWritten by Lee Dobbins
Perennials are wonderful because, they bloom year after year. Sometimes, I forget that I even have them planted and then they spring up to my surprise and delight! I like to add some zip to my garden with flowers that are orange in color. They add a vibrant touch and brilliant colors attract birds and insects.
Heres some of my favorite orange perennials: Butterfly Weed This flowers in summer and can get as high as three feet. It has compact clusters of flowers and as name implies, it does attract butterflies!
Day Lily I see this beautiful flower growing wild all over place here in New Hampshire. It blooms in summer and sits on 30 tall stalks. These perennials are virtually care free and will grow in most locations. Since 1 stalk can have over fourty flowers, you can have a bed of these that blooms for a month or more in summer.
Gaillardia This comes in a regular size that has 4 daisy like flowers and a dwarf size. The plant is short growing to about 2 feet and blooms in summer. These like to be planted in full sun but are quite hardy and you can extend bloom time if you cut off fading flowers. And best thing is that they also attract butterflies!