Perennials are the mainstay of any garden. In today's blog post, the Country Basket Garden Centre team offers up some tips and advice for planting beautiful, hardy perennial gardens in Niagara.
Prepare your beds for great root growth.
Most perennials love soft well-drained soils. To turn even the worst dirt into “Super Soil”, add organic matter. Many Niagara residents complain of having clay in their garden beds. Adding some compost and peat moss every year will make a world of difference.
Select your perennials with care.
Sun-loving plants generally do poorly in shade, and shade-loving plants scorch in the sun. If you're not sure which plant grows where - ask us!
Most perennials have a set bloom time each year that does not encompass all the seasons. Be sure to include Spring bloomers, Summer colour and Fall flowers in pleasing combinations.
It also is perfectly legal to mix some annual flowers (which tend to bloom over a longer period of time) with your perennials to extend colour. We have signage and labels that help you with your decisions.
Repeat after me - Sit down in the front.
You usually need several heights of perennials to give your bed a three dimensional look. Take the time to read the height on the tags, this will help you to decide where you're going to plant your perennial. Also do not put aggressive growing flowers next to dainty ones that need pampering.
The Country Basket team will help you out in choosing plants that are good neighbours. What really gives a perennial bed a beautiful look, is to repeat the plant groupings you use several times in a bed.
Plant with love.
Plant odd numbers of plants of the same kind together (3, 5, 7, etc.). Planting “onesies” together often looks jumbled.
When you plant, feed the roots with a high phosphate fertilizer that is mixed into the soil which causes the plant to establish quickly. Water thoroughly when you first plant.
Clean your house.
This goes for annual beds, too. Keep the weeds from getting a good start. It is much easier to remove them when they are small. Mulching your beds with 2 or 3 inches of bark mulch such as hardwood or pine will keep out 90% of the weeds.
Remove dead blossoms when you are in your beds looking for weeds. This will extend the flowering time for many perennials as well as keep a tidy look.
Water only as needed. Lots of sprinkler watering on the leaves promotes disease and rotting in the plants. For more plentiful flowers, water your plants with our “Free liquid Fertilizer” every couple of weeks.
Multiply by Dividing
In the crazy math of perennials, you can split up the mature root masses and gain more starts to plant somewhere else or to give to your friends. Perennials are not all the same, so ask us at the Garden Centre when the time to divide is right and the best way to go about it.