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Gardeners Grow Together Week 11, 2021: Tidying the Garden

Welcome to my special gardening page for those of you who like to garden yourselves! Each week, I will make suggestions as to what gardening tasks we need to do every week during the growing season. It will help keep you on track~ as well as myself!

To keep things simple, I am using the year's weekly number, Week #1 through #52 (example: the week of January 1 is Week #1), instead of specific dates.

So, come on! Let's get our hands dirty!


Prune Butterfly Bushes

Prune bushes by at least half. In colder climates, they may die back to the ground, so cut them off at ground level. They will regrow. They only bloom on new wood, so the harder we prune them, the better they bloom.

Clean your windows

If you are using a window sill or glass greenhouse to grow your seedlings, make sure your windows are squeaky clean so your baby plants get all the light they can.

Plant Clematis Vine

Clematis are beautiful, vigorous, perennial vines, filled with blooms of many different colors and forms. They come in three different types, spring blooming, summer blooming and late blooming.

Clematis are currently available in bare root form, both at garden centers and big box stores. They like their roots cool and shaded, but their tops in full sun. Plant your clematis deep, at least four inches deeper than the top of the root ball, then mulch heavily to keep the root ball cool and to preserve moisture.

If you can stand it, prune any stalks clear back to about four inches and then cut off any flower buds that form in the first year. Your plant will grow stronger roots the first year if you do, and be a much better plant next year. However, it's not mandatory.

Prune existing clematis

Now is the time to prune your existing summer and late blooming clematis, as they bloom on new wood. Prune hard, down to about six inches.

Early spring blooming clematis bloom on old wood, so should be pruned immediately after flowering, but no later than June.

Force Rhubarb

If you have rhubarb plants, try forcing them! You will get earlier, sweeter, longer, and more tender stalks, with tiny leaves. Doing this forces he plant to grow longer stalks in search of light, instead of making those huge leaves. All you have to do is cover the plant with a large garbage bin when you first see the nubs coming up out of the ground. Make sure no light can get in Put a heavy rock on top to keep it from blowing away. Leave it for about a month, then uncover, harvest, and then enjoy that Rhubarb Crumble! Yum!

After you harvest, let the plant regenerate in the sun for the rest of the summer to make sure you have some for next year!

Start Sweet Pea seed

Now is the time to start sweet pea seeds for earliest flowers. They germinate faster if you soak the seeds overnight in a bowl of water. Plant three or four seeds in a three inch pot. Around May 1st, plant them all together in a clump, without disturbing the roots, into the garden. Be sure to save some seeds to plant out in April for a succession planting for a longer flowering period.

Now, let's get busy!

~Lee Ann~

Valmont Valley Farm

Where Beautiful Magic is Always in Bloom

If you would like to join in supporting my flower farm and receive beautiful bouquets weekly, please sign up for my Flower CSA! Get all the details here!


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