on 50+ Perennials
To Have More Beauty with Less Work
Perennials are an indispensable part
of every garden, regardless of size. They are a source
of back-ground in color and size and provide an abundance
of cut flowers. The long-time standard favorites peonies,
iris, delphinium, phlox, chrysanthemums, and a few others,
together with the newer plants given us by the hybridizes
. . .such as the daylily that blooms over a five-month
period, phlox in amazing colors, and larger improved peonies-give
us plant material that provides almost ever blooming borders
and no end for the use of our ideas. Contrary to popular
belief, perennials are not expensive to grow.
Planning the Perennial
A background is a must. Use a hedge, shrub
border, a trellis, a fence, or a wall. Perennials prefer
full sun and well-drained soil. Choose plants that will
give continuous bloom. A good arrangement is tall plants
in the back, low ones. in the foreground, and medium
ones in the middle with strong accent plants placed
irregularly in the middle sections. Plant so as to mass
varieties in groups of three to five or more. Consider
foliage in this planning.
PERENNIAL PLANTS FROM
Many perennials can be propaagated from
seeds. Follow these steps:
- Prepare a fine seedbed in a cold frame
or in the garden. Thoroughly mix into the soil enough
humus material and sand to give a friable soil, then
mix one tablespoonful of fertilzer per square foot
of bed area.
- Sow seed of most perennials in early
summer (May or June) in rows 6 inches apart. Cover
3 times the seed diameter with soil sifted over them.
Tamp the soil firmly with a flat board after sowing.
- Cover bed with burlap or cheesecloth.
Water often, sprinkling through the cover.
- When seedling plants appear above ground,
raise cover to about 1 foot high.
- When seedlings are about 6 weeks old,
remove shade cover and scratch fertilzer into the
soil between rows at the rate of 1 tablespoonful per
3 feet of row, using 1/2 on either side of row.
- In late summer or early fall the plants
may be transplanted into permanent position or puS
into another bed for further development.
In some cases seeds of perennials may
be sown in the fall.
- Spade deeply . . . 12 to 15 inches.
If some plants are growing in the bed, remove them
and "heel" them into a small trench.
- Add humus and drainage ma-terial ...
Stir or break up sub-soil if possible. Perennials
do not like "wet feet." Put drainage material (small
rock and gravel) in the bottom of bed. Apply 1 pound
of fertilzer to each 25 square feet of bed area. Work
plant food into the soil. Turn the hose on the soil
bed to hasten settling. After a few days it will be
ready for transplanting.
Alwalys fill planting hole with water
immediately after setting plants. Set plants as deeply
as possible without covering the crowns. Set low growing
plants 6 to 12 inches apart and tall plants at least 2
to 3 feet apart to leave room for cultivation and feeding,
as well as for good development. Pack soil around the
plant roots firmly and cover with dry soil.
CARE OF ESTABLISHED PERENNIALS
Perennials are heavy feeders and since they
stay in one spot for a number of years, they require liberal feeding of
complete plant food. Feed established plants early fertilzer in the spring, as
soon as they appear above the ground. Use 1 pound (1 pint) of fertilzer per 25
feet of row or 25 square feet of area. Work plant food into the soil around the
plants. Feed at the same rate every 8 weeks during the growing season.
INSECT AND DISEASE
The regular use of chemicals will control
chewing and sucking insects and most fungus disease, preventing damage before
Alternate freezing and thawing, rather than
extreme cold, is the real danger to perennials. In most sections of the United
States, beds should be mulched during the winter. Apply mulch after the ground