Pratt County Master Gardener Phillip Lunt shares garden tips for year-round flower lovers.
The long dark, cold winter is over. The beautiful yellow daffodils are appearing everywhere. Is this the year that you will finally have a garden that blooms all year round.
In order to have that type of garden that blooms all the time, you must understand what flowers prefer and what climates they do best in. Spring flowers combined with summer flowers and then combined with fall flowers & winter garden flowers will allow your garden to contain color year-round. You can, however, get the same effect by using other flowers that are equally resilient regardless of the climate
The time for planting this year spring flowers bulbs has come and gone. That time was last fall. Save your flower catalogs that you received this past winter and compare them with the catalogs you receive this early fall. You will find that the only thing that has probably changed is the price. Make spring garden flower design areas now for the year 2020. The different types of spring flower will stay the same, only the price will change.
FLOWERS FOR SPRING GARDENS FOR THE YEAR 2020. Daffodils grow early when just as the earth warms up. In order to grow well, the blubs need to be planted in late autumn. There are several kinds of daffodils to choose from. You should take care in handling the bulbs when planting as they are not very durable and need to be handled with care.
Hyacinths are another bulb that needs to be planted in the fall. When they grow, the flower will have a beautiful fragrant spring smell and will come in colors of pink, purple, blue and white. There is a downside. You should always wear gloves because the bulb can irritate your skin.
Tulips are gorgeous flowers. They come in every color of spring imaginable. The spring catalogs with tulips from Holland are the first to arrive in your mail box in mid to late fall.
You order the tulip bulbs and then plant in the semi-frozen ground on a cold weekend day. You then wait all winter for the first tender green tips to poke out of the semi-frozen ground. You eagerly check the beds for the first buds. But then this is what you see! The delicate green leaves have been shorn off at nearly ground level. The likely culprits are deer.
You ask , “Do deer eat tulips?” My question to you is “Does Uncle Sam collect taxes?” There are very few plants that deer won’t eat, but they really favor the new green leaves of the tulip bulb. Usually they don’t leave any green left to fuel the bulb and start the flower.
Protecting tulips from deer can be as hard as taking a three-year-old somewhere where he or she doesn’t want to go. Deer don’t like hyacinths or daffodils. Plant choices can make Bambi feel less welcome with minimal investment. Mix your daffodils and your hyacinths together with your tulips. Just remember that fending off the gustatory onslaught of deer can be a full-time job.
FLOWERS FOR SUMMER GARDENS. Summer flowers in Pratt County must be able to endure the hot, semiarid climate that causes the spring flowers to wither away. The best things about summer flowers is that they bring as much color as the spring flowers.
Delphiniums are a gorgeous tall bright purple, pink or white flower. Due to their height, they make a great backdrop for any summer garden.
Gladiolas are another colorful choice. They come in almost any color you would want to fill your garden. Some of them are even two-toned. As do most summer flowers, they need a lot of water. The dryness that often comes with the summer months in Kansas can dry out many summer flowers which make them more high maintenance.
FALL GARDEN IDEAS. There are very few flowers that strictly grow during autumn. Most fall flowers are resilient enough for the hot heat of summer, but also the cool weather that autumn brings. Some of the most common flowers that are known to last into the late autumn are asters and gerbera daisies. Asters last throughout the year. They attract butterflies and are a great addition to any garden.
Dahlias are a great choice for fall because they will last until the first frost. They grow best in full sun but are often eaten by many insects.
Cosmos grow three to six feet tall blooming twice a year. They are resilient and survive in most climates. Once they bloom in the fall, they will last until the first frost.
WINTER FLOWERS FOR THE GARDEN FOR THE YEAR 2020. The first day of winter this year is December 22. When thinking of winter flowers, you need to plan for January, February and March of the next year. January in the past was always the coldest month in south central Kansas, but with the change in the climate, who knows what the next years will bring.
When you think of winter flowers, you usually think of indoor potted plants. There are flowers that will grow outside in the winter regardless of the climate. Some of the most common are crocus in the snow and winter aconites.
Winter aconites are probably the easiest plant to grow in the winter because they need very little grooming. Winter aconite is cherished by pollinators because it is one of the first flowers of spring. It will pop through the snow ahead of the crocus and their cheery yellow blooms are a welcome addition to the dormant landscape.