Spring Garden Tips
Mark the Spot to Protect Perennials

X may not mark the spot in the garden – but bulbs, plant markers or standing stems sure can help guide your cleanup efforts next spring.

Balloon flower, butterfly weed and swamp mallow are a few of the plants that emerge late in the spring. This makes it easy to accidently weed them out during spring clean-up.

JavaScript is disabled!
To display this content, you need a JavaScript capable browser.

mgm_audio_109_protect_late_perennialsThe easiest but often least effective method is to leave the stems stand until the new growth emerges. Unfortunately many of us have accidently removed these, too.

Plant tags will identify the plant and mark their location but can make your garden look like a plant cemetery. Try placing a colorful dowel rod or short bamboo stake at the base of the plants.

Or mark their spot with bulbs. Planting spring flowering bulbs next to these plants will extend the bloom time of that space and help prevent accidental weeding.

Avoid tulips, crocus and other bulbs the animals love. They may move or eat your marker before next spring.

A bit more information: Extend the spring bloom further by using a mix of early, mid and late spring blooming bulbs. Start with early blooming winter aconites and snowdrops, followed by later blooming hyacinths and daffodils. Or skirt the plants with early spring blooming perennials like creeping phlox, candytuft or rockcress.

Share
 

Related Garden Moments for Radio

2011 Perennial Plant of the Year

Add season long interest to your garden with the 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year.

Listen to 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year

2014 All-America Selections (AAS) Flower Winners

As you plan your gardens for 2014, be sure to include a few or all of the All-America Selection Flower Winners. They are tested throughout the U.S. and Canada and selected for their unique qualities and suitability for the home garden.

Listen to... 2014 All-America...Flowers

A Gift From Your Garden

Looking for a unique, personal and affordable gift this holiday season? Consider something from your garden.

Listen to A Gift from your Garden...

A Low Maintenance Perennial Garden

You can have a beautiful garden and still have time to relax and enjoy it.

Read more...

A Prince in the Garden (Prince Charming Solomon's Seal)

Add beauty and a bit of fragrance to the shady spots in your landscape with Prince Charming Solomon’s seal.

Listen to A Prince in the Garden...

Add a Bit of Blue to the Spring Garden with Camassia

Add a bit of blue to your spring garden with Camassia. Spring is a great time to locate a spot for this beauty while fall is the time to plant it in the garden or force it indoors.

Read more...

Add Color and Seasonal Beauty to Shrub Beds and Berms

Mix things up and add a bit of sparkle to your landscape this season.

Listen to Add Color to Shrub Beds and Berms...

Add Homes for the Birds to Your Landscape

Take a walk through your landscape and evaluate your plants for their year round beauty and habitat for the birds. The second week in February is “National Homes for the Birds” week and a great time to look for ways to provide food, shelter and water for our feathered friends.

Listen to Add Homes for Birds in the Landscape...

Add Pockets of Color in your Landscape

Now is a great time to plan for added color in your landscape.

Listen to Add Color to your Landscape...

Attracting Birds and Butterflies to the Garden

Add a little extra color, motion and interest to your landscape by attracting birds and butterflies to the garden. Make sure your yard provides all the essentials - food, water, shelter and a place to raise young. And be sure to avoid the use of pesticides that can harm the wildlife you are trying to attract.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Attractive Year Round Screening

How many evergreens do I need to screen the view of my neighbor's house? This is a common question raised by gardeners across the country.

Read more...

Bee Friendly Flowering Bulbs

Late winter and spring flowering bulbs brighten our spirits as they signal the end of winter. They also provide needed nectar to early season pollinators.

Read more...

Budget Gardening

Walking into a garden center filled with beautiful new varieties of plants is a temptation many gardeners succumb to. You can include some of the cool new plants in your landscape even when your plant budget is limited or you are trying to make it go further.

Read more...

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) the 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year

Looking for an outstanding low maintenance perennial for your garden? Check out the Perennial Plants of the Year selected for their adaptability and outstanding performance in the landscape. The 2017 winner is an essential food for monarchs and a pollinator and gardener favorite – the Butterfly weed.

Read more...

Camouflage Your Air Conditioner

Don’t let your air conditioner break the family budget or be an eye sore in your backyard. Try one of these affordable solutions to improve the view and keep your air conditioner running smoothly.

Listen to Camouflage your Air Conditioner...

Caring for Bare-Root Plants

So what do you do when those bare root perennials, shrubs, roses, or fruit plants you ordered arrive before you and your garden are ready or the weather is suitable for planting? Don’t despair you can preserve your investment with minimal effort.

Listen to Bare Root Plants...

Celebrate World Hyacinth Day

Celebrate World Hyacinth Day on March 7th and throughout the spring by enjoying the fragrant blooms of this popular spring flowering bulb.

Listen to World Hyacinth Day...

Containing Aggressive Plants

Mint, beebalm, and purple coneflower are garden favorites that often get out of hand. Tame these and other garden bullies with a few planting and maintenance strategies.

Listen to Containing Aggressive Plants...

Create Planting Beds to Save Time and Your Trees

Reduce maintenance and improve your plants’ health by creating large planting beds around trees and shrubs.

Listen to Creating Planting Beds...

Creative Staking for Gladiolus, Dahlias and Iris

Stately and beautiful describes flowering gladiolus, dahlias and iris. As long as they are upright and standing that is. Give them a lift this season with creative staking.

Read more...

Daffodils Brighten the Spring Garden

Long lasting, low maintenance and animal resistant describe the daffodil.

Read more...

Daffodils Fail to Bloom

No blooms on your daffodils? It could be a couple things.

Listen to Daffodils Fail to Bloom...

Dahlias - A Traditional Favorite Perfect for Today's Gardens

Add some elegance, color or fun to the garden with dahlias. These traditional plants come in a variety of sizes, shapes and color, making them a great choice for any garden.

Read more...

Deadheading Flowers for Maximum Beauty

Keep your flowers blooming longer and your garden tidier with a bit of deadheading.

Listen to Garden Moment..

Deadheading Leggy Annuals and Perennials

Add new life to your summer landscape with a bit of deadheading, pinching and planting.

"Listen to . . . Deadheading Leggy Annuals

Dealing with Floppy Perennials

Avoid floppy perennials and eliminate the need for staking with proper selection and care.

Read more...

Design Strategies for a Low Maintenance Landscape

A thoughtful plan or a few changes in your current design can help reduce your workload and improve the beauty of your landscape.

Read more...

Design Tips for Shade Gardens

Make the most of your shade gardens with proper plant selection and design strategies.

Read more...

Design with Maintenance in Mind

Reduce your maintenance and increase the beauty of your perennial garden with proper design.

Plants are dynamic, always growing and changing requiring some care. But a good design can help minimize maintenance while creating a beautiful garden you'll enjoy for years to come.

Read more...

Dig, Divide and Mulitply Perennials

Overcrowded, poor flowering and floppy perennials can be invigorated with a shovel and a bit of your time and energy.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Disbudding Dahlias

Trying to grow those dinner plate size dahlia blooms? Selection and disbudding will help you achieve your goal.

Read more...

Divide Spring Flowering Bulbs

Improve next spring's bulb garden with a bit of late spring maintenance.

Read more...

Dividing Spring and Summer Blooming Perennials

Late summer through early fall is a great time to dig and divide overgrown spring and summer blooming perennials.

Read more...

DIY Plant Markers

Create plant markers from castaways and items found in nature. All you need is a bit of time, creativity and paint.

Read more...

Eco-friendly Perennial Garden Weed Control

So it seems your perennial garden is filled with more weeds than flowers. Now is a great time to reclaim your garden by getting the weeds under control.

Listen to Eco-friendly Weed Control...

Eliminate Floppy Perennials

Flopping perennials can ruin the beauty and enjoyment of your garden. Take note and prevent future problems with a bit of proactive care.

Listen to floppy Perennials...

Extend the Life of Forced Bulbs

Extend your enjoyment of potted and forced tulips, daffodils and hyacinths.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Fall Care for Perennials - Let Them Stand

Let ‘em stand for winter - perennials that is - for a healthier more floriferous garden next year.

Listen to Fall Care for Perennials...

Fall Planted Spring Flowering Spanish Bluebells (Wood Hyacinths)

Plant a few low maintenance spring blooming Spanish bluebells this fall. You'll enjoy clusters of blue, pink or white bell shaped flowers that grace the plant in late spring.

Read more...

Forcing Bulbs

Try forcing a few spring flowering bulbs for indoor enjoyment or added beauty on your patio and deck.

Listen to Forcing Bulbs...

Forever Pink Phlox

Add color to your late spring garden with Forever Pink Phlox.

Listen to Forever Pink Phlox...

Garden Journal

Make this the year you finally start and keep a gardening journal. Keeping records of your successes, failures, pest problems and weather will help you grow a healthy, beautiful and productive garden in a more eco-friendly manner.

Listen to Garden Journal...

Gardening on a Budget

We are all looking for ways to make our dollars go further. And that includes landscaping and gardening projects.

Read more...

Goldenrod, a Fall Favorite

One of the last flowers of fall, the goldenrod, adds color to landscapes across North America.

Listen to Goldenrod, a Fall Favorite...

Green Thumb Award Winner Biomarkers

It’s that time of year when your mailbox or inbox is filled with garden catalogs. Take advantage of the beautiful pictures and great ideas to help plan additions and changes to this year’s garden.

Listen to Green Thumb Award Winners...

Growing Onions

Make homegrown onions part of your diet. Their flavor is guaranteed to add zest to your meals and their health benefits include lowering the risk of many cancers.

Listen to Growing Onions...

Indoor Start For Earlier Bloom

It’s not too early to start planting - indoors that is. Start cannas, dahlias or other non-hardy bulbs indoors for bigger transplants and earlier bloom in the garden.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Landscape for Fall Color

Mums are the traditional fall flower – but don’t stop there. You can find plenty of plants to add to your landscape’s fall display.

Listen to Fall Perennial Garden...

Lesser-Used Perennials

Liven up your landscape by including a few of the lesser used perennials.

Listen to Lesser Used Perennials...

Long-Blooming Perennials

Get the most from every square inch of your landscape by including long blooming perennials.

Listen to Long-Blooming Perennials...

Low Maintenance - Big Impact Perennials

Don’t let a lack of time, energy or space stop you from growing perennials. Instead select and grow low maintenance plants with big impact.

Listen to Low Maintenace...

Managing and Enjoying Reseeding Perennials

More is often considered better, except when it comes to unwanted seedlings. Self seeding perennials mean lots of free plants to move to other gardens in the landscape, but sometimes it just means more unwanted plants to control.

Read more...

Managing Early Sprouting Bulbs

A break in the cold winter temperatures can be a welcome reprieve for gardeners, but not such a good thing for our spring flowering bulbs.

Listen to Managing Early Sprouting Bulbs...

Managing Self-seeding Perennials

Self-seeding perennials can be considered a gift or curse. Put these plants to work for you in your garden.

Read more...

Masking Declining Bulb Foliage

Tired of looking at the fading foliage of early season bloomers? Mask the ugliness of these declining leaves and increase the beauty of your landscape this season.

Listen to Bulb Foliage...

Naturalizing and Perennializing Bulbs

Every profession and hobby has its jargon. Sometimes words are loosely used and interchanged causing confusion to all. Naturalizing and perennializing bulbs are a good example.

Read more...

Overwintering Container Planters

Trees, shrubs and perennials are great for container gardens. But as winter approaches we need to provide a bit of care to help them through the winter.

Listen to Winterizing Container Planters...

Pass-along Plants

Whether you are sharing a piece of a favorite plant, a bit of family history, or a shared memory, pass-along plants have long been a part of the gardening tradition.

Listen to Pass-along Plants...

Planning a Flower Garden

Put old garden catalogues to work as you plan your flower gardens this year.

Read more...

Plant a Few Minor Bulbs

Do something different this fall. Add a few of the smaller often underutilized bulbs, known as minor bulbs to your landscape.

Listen to ... Plant a Few Minor Bulbs

Plant Some Animal Resistant Bulbs This Fall

Don't let flower hungry wildlife stop you from planting spring flowering bulbs. Plant a few animal resistant bulbs in your garden this fall for added color and beauty next spring.

Read more...

Planting Bulbs for Spring Beauty

Tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are sure signs of spring. Get busy now planting a bit of beauty and color for next spring’s garden.

Listen to Planting Bulbs for Spring...

Planting Bulbs Right Side Up

Green side up is the direction new gardeners receive when planting trees, shrubs and perennials. But it is not as clear which side goes up when planting bulbs, corms and rhizomes.

Read more...

Planting Bulbs, Corms and Rhizomes

Fall through early winter is bulb planting season. But is it really a bulb you are planting? It could be a corm, tuber or rhizome.

Read more...

Preparing Perennials for Winter

Procrastination is a good thing when it comes to cleaning up your landscape in fall.

Listen to Preparing Perennials for Winter...

Preserving Elephant Ears Bulbs (Corms) and Plants

Don’t compost those elephant ears plants – instead preserve them for next year’s garden.

Listen to Preserving Elephant Ear Bulbs...

Propagating New Plants from Root Cuttings

Expand your oriental poppy planting this summer. These poppies, butterfly weed, gas plants and other fleshy rooted perennials can be started from just a piece of the root.

Listen to . . . Propagating New Plants from Root Cuttings

Pruning Perennials

Tame those unruly perennials with a little early season pruning.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Don’t drag that Christmas tree to the curb. Give it a second life in your landscape.

Cut trees make great windbreaks in the landscape. Strategically place discarded Christmas trees on the windward side of rhododendron, boxwood and other broadleaf evergreens to reduce problems with winter burn.

Listen to Recycle your Christmas tree...

Reviving a Flower Garden

Don’t panic if your spring garden lacks the vim and vigor the past. You can improve the health and beauty of your garden without starting over.

Listen to Reviving a Flower Garden...

Sifting Through Garden Catalogs

Your mailbox and dining room table are overflowing with catalogs filled with pictures of beautiful flowers and scrumptious vegetables. With so many choices it can be a bit overwhelming – I can help.

Listen to Sifting through Garden Catalogs...

Skip the Bonemeal

Fall means bulb planting and for many gardeners it means breaking out the bone meal to get them well-rooted and growing. Consider skipping the bone meal. You’ll save money and have better long-term results in the garden.

Listen to ... Skip the Bonemeal

Snowdrops - A January Birth Flower

Celebrate a January birthday with one of the two January flowers. One, snowdrops were often found growing in graveyards and were considered bad luck. Now they represent hope and beauty.

Read more...

Spring Container Gardens

Add a bit of color and fragrance to your entryway with a spring container garden.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Start New Perennials from Root Cuttings

Expand your perennial plant collection or share a family heirloom with friends and family. Root cuttings of butterfly weed, bleeding heart and oriental poppies to start new plants to share.

Read more...

Starting Cannas, Dahlias and Other Non-hardy Bulbs Indoors

You can start your summer garden months before the traditional planting date. Start cannas, dahlias or other non-hardy bulbs indoors for bigger transplants and earlier bloom in the garden.

Listen to Starting non-hardy Bulbs Indoors...

Storing Bulbs for Late Planting

The time to buy bulbs, corms and rhizomes at the garden center is not always the most convenient or best time to plant them in the garden.

Read more...

Storing Cannas, Dahlias, Caladiums and other Non-Hardy Bulbs for Winter

Keep your cannas, caladiums and other non-hardy bulbs from season to season with a bit of special winter care.

Listen to Storing Non-Hardy Bulbs for Winter...

Storing Spring Flowering Bulbs Over Winter

Don't panic if the bulb planting season has passed and you still have some or all your bulbs in need of planting.

Read more...

Strategies for a Low Maintenance Perennial Garden

Look for ways to reduce maintenance and still have a beautiful perennial garden.

Read more...

Stretch Your Plant Budget

Stretch your planting budget with each plant you buy.

Read more...

Tax Relief Through Garden Therapy

Just say the date - April 15th and most U.S. citizens cringe, unless of course you are one of the lucky ones getting a refund. Soften the blow with a bit of horticulture therapy.

Once the taxes are mailed, take a walk through your yard, neighborhood or nearby botanical garden. Walking and working in nature helps lower our blood pressure and improve our mood.

Read more...

Time to Evaluate and Plan for Changes in the Garden

Stop and take a few minutes to evaluate the success, challenges and failures of the past growing season. Investing time now can save you additional time, money and frustration in next season's garden.

Listen to... Time to Evaluate...

Winter Care for Unplanted Trees, Shrubs and Perennials

Fall plant sales and all those tempting new varieties have many of us buying more plants than we have time or space to plant. Protect them over the winter and reduce your workload by heeling them in until you have time to find a permanent spot in your garden.

Read more...