Home & Garden

Lori’s Gardening Tips

Lori’s Gardening Tips

By Lori Schultz

Tips on deadheading geraniums
As we visit with customers, I am always surprised by how many don’t know the correct way to deadhead geraniums. This might be a good place to explain. Many people will cut or pinch off the blooms part way down the stem. This leaves an open wound that can let in diseases. Also, the plant still sends energy to that wounded area, thus slowing the production of new blooms. The correct way to deadhead is using your fingers, follow the stem of the spent bloom all the way down to where it shoots out of the main stem and snap it off. If done correctly, you will hear a distinct snapping sound. Now the plant knows that bloom is gone and it immediately seals off the joint and starts to develop a new bloom. Deadheading done correctly will result in healthier plants that bloom much more profusely!

Thinkstock

Thinkstock

Tips for tomatoes
Tomatoes are prone to magnesium deficiency. Composed almost exclusively of magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is intensely rich in these two minerals, which are both crucial to healthy plant life. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to the hole before you plant your tomatoes. This is an easy, inexpensive way to start your tomatoes off right!
Another easy way to help prevent diseases with your tomatoes is to wash your cages with bleach water each spring as you take them out of storage. Diseases can carry over on the cages from last year so sterilizing them is a good way to start the season.
Tips for drying herbs
Drying herbs is super easy using your microwave! Place a single layer of fresh cut herbs on a paper towel in your microwave and cook for 1 minute. Let sit for a few minutes and you will be able to crumble them into flakes!

Tips for planting peas
Soak your pea seed in room temperature water overnight before planting them. They will plump up and your germination percentage will increase. I always place my fence in the ground first and then plant pea seed along both sides of the fence. That way as they come up, they will immediately attach and climb the fence!
Happy planting!

Lori Schultz is the owner of Anderson Florist, Garden Center and Greenhouse in
Alexandria.

Home & Garden

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