Interested in using some of your hydrangea blooms as dried flowers? On this week’s You Bet Your Garden, a listener reveals how to successfully preserve the many types of these fabulous flowers. Plus your fabulous phone calls!
Question of the Week:
“I composted last year’s shredded leaves with coffee grounds, turned the piles, and finally have finished compost! Should I put it on my beds now—in the Fall? I need to make room in my compost bins!”
— Andy in Pitman, NJ
Highlights from show:
Ferns in the Cold
Michael in Traverse City, Michigan buys fern every fall but as winter arrives he takes them inside to protect them from the cold. He questions why they seem to always die, and wants to know how to get through winter with them thriving instead of dying. Mike advises him to take the fern out of the pot, and split it in half. He says then to repot half in his garden outdoors in a suitable comfortable spot for the fern where it can still receive sunshade; and the other half inside, should receive ambient light for better chances of survival.
St. Augustine Fungus
Karen in Delaware has a question for her father because he has St. Augustine Fungus in his grass, and wants to know how to decrease it. She says the grass has tons of brown spots in it looking like it was eaten. Mike says Karen’s dad might have rotted the lawn with frequent watering. He says because it’s so humid down South the lawn needs to be fed much more. He advises him to buy a gentle organic fertilizer for the grass and says the grass will begin to look healthier.
Trumpet Vine Trouble
Sierra in Oklahoma has a problem with trumpet vines that are all around her house and up the fence. Mike suggests for her to cut them off at ground level yearly to exhaust the rootsystem. He says then the vine will become skinny and weak and begin drying out. She should also make sure to never feed the vine, or anything around it to kill out the vine altogether.
Ken in Maryland has forsythia that is completely outrageous and tall. It continues to expand and take up space in his garden. He wants to know how much should be trimmed back to stop its expansion. Mike says after it has bloomed in the spring, it can be trimmed back 2 ft yearly to get it under control.
Digging Up Bulbs
Barbara in Essex Maryland is asking Mike for guidance on digging up her tiger lily and iris bulbs and storing them over the winter so she can plant them in the Spring. Barbara says her new house doesn’t have a basement, but it does have a crawl space. So, Mike tells her to put the bulbs in a bag or box lined with landscape fabric or something else to deter critters from chewing through and she can bring them back out in the Spring.