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Ideas for Mother's Day...and more
by Donna Dawson
May 11, 2014

 


Mother’s Day is here. I am including some excellent information on how to care for cut flowers, rose tips, tips for container plants, mud gloves and what is happening this coming week… if your Mother is no longer here (like mine now) think about taking a beautiful bouquet to a Mother near to you or perhaps over to the local seniors home for many Mothers to enjoy. Happy Mother’s Day Mom… and be sure to check out the blogs too – all really nice people and very knowledgeable.


Nine Tips for Buying and Caring for Cut Flowers
(and secrets to making them last longer)

The selections are almost endless, from single variety bunches, to colorful, spring bouquets; it’s almost overwhelming. The type of flowers you choose is a personal preference, but here are a few things to look for to ensure that your choice will last as long possible and give you maximum enjoyment.

  1. Make your selection from those flowers furthest from your reach. Flowers are rotated according to their age and you can be sure, the oldest ones will usually be the easiest to access.
  2. If flowers are displayed in a tiered fashion and you have a choice, make your selection from the upper tiers. When you pull a bouquet from the bucket, notice how drops of water fall onto the lower bouquets. This causes mold and brown spots on those flowers. Try to avoid dripping on surrounding flowers as much as possible.
  3. Look for erect heads and stems. If a stem, head or tip of a flower, such as a gladiola, is drooping or bent, the flower is old or it can no longer draw water.
  4. If you see wilted petals, or even worse, loose, fallen petals, avoid that bunch. Petals should be bright and vibrant.
  5. Watch for signs of browning edges or brown spots on petals.
  6. If it feels firm and tight, then it’s alright. When buying roses, gently squeeze the base of the head. Purchase roses with the fewest cracked petals and the tightest heads.
  7. Yellowing leaves and stems are a sure sign that that bouquet is on its last legs. Watch for slime on the stems. Also look for the freshest cut on the stems. A dark ring around the base means the cut is old and the flower hasn’t been able to drink as much as it wants to.
  8. Don’t buy flowers with loose pollen on the petals.
  9. Once you’ve made your purchase, get it home as soon as possible and follow these guidelines:
    • If you’re not going to arrange them right away, remove the wrapping, cut the string or rubber band and put the flowers into a clean sink or bucket of warm water (except chrysanthemums which prefer cool water).
    • Arrange them in the container as soon as practical. Your vase or container should be clean. Bacteria is a flower’s worst enemy!
    • Treat the water with the package of flower food usually contained in the bouquet.
    • Remove all leaves and foliage below the water’s surface. They are another source of bacteria and they will make your arrangement stink!
    • Cut ALL stems at an angle just before putting them into the vase. They will be able to drink more water.

To extend the life of your arrangement give the stems a fresh cut each day and add fresh water.



Growing Healthy Roses is Easy with these 6 Simple Tips:

  1. Sunlight Provide your roses with direct sunlight for at least five to six hours each day.
  2. Soil Roses grow best in good soil with a pH ranging from 6.5 to 6.8. Till to a depth of two feet - adding a good organic compost or peat moss for healthy drainage.
  3. Location Don't plant roses too close to shrubs or trees that will compete for water, light and nutrients. Provide them with adequate space for air circulation.
  4. Water It's best to water rose bushes twice a week, thoroughly at the base of the plant. Avoid late-evening watering that can foster powdery mildew. Instead, water early in the morning to allow the leaves to dry before nightfall.
  5. Fertilize Fertilize roses every one to two months starting in the spring with balanced fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Stop fertilizing in late summer or early fall to prepare them for dormancy.
  6. Drainage Whether you grow them in containers or the ground, good drainage is necessary to prevent water from pooling at the roots. Improve drainage with tilling or raised beds and containers with drainage holes.

Even experienced rose enthusiasts have lost a favorite rose to stressors like powdery mildew, drought, or extreme summer heat. Now science has come to the rescue to give your plants the fitness edge they need to keep healthy and strong - no matter what unpredictable heat spell, cold snap or disease should hit. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned rose gardener, you can enjoy success with a good plant-strengthening spray like Jaz Rose Spray, new this spring. This easy-to use, safe and biodegradable leaf spray was developed by plant scientists and endorsed by the American Rose Society. Jaz Rose Spray ( www.jazsprays.com ) contains jasmonate, which naturally occurs in plants and helps to keep all roses strong and resistant to disease, pests, excessive heat, drought, cold and salt. It works by boosting your plant's natural resistance to environmental stressors and encouraging vigorous roots, growth and blooms.

If you want to get Mom something useful, especially out in the garden, here is a neat idea…

Beat the Heat with Cool Mud®

For many gardeners, staying motivated and proactive throughout the hottest days of the summer can be a tough job. New Cool Mud® gloves were developed specifically to keep gardeners cool and comfortable during the hottest months of the season. Cool Mud features a seamless knit nylon liner with Lycra Bodycare (an aloë vera additive) embedded in the fibers, which moisturize and soften hands during use. The glove’s 360° breathable, water repellent, air infused nitrile coating keeps hands cool and dry while offering Mud’s trademark superior comfort and performance.

In addition, the Cool Mud offers the same quality and features that have put Mud Glove® on the map including a waterproof palm, textured grip and machine washable design. Gardeners can choose from: Glacier Blue, Arctic Mint and Mountain Lilac colors in sizes XS-XL.

For more information and to find a retailer near you, visit: www.mudglove.com

Tips for Great Container Plants

Container plants are so useful and so important for our well-being. As long as their needs are met, they are happy and will show it by growing up healthy and strong. Terracotta or clay pots are very practical. Water does not build up as the clay material weeps it out, keeping the roots healthy. The fine hair roots are what the plant sends out to gather food so you do not want these hair roots sitting in wet soil or they will rot. Plants in plastic pots must be checked more often as they will dry out faster. Terracotta also draws out salts that might be in the soil. That is why you will see those white marks on the pots after a time. If potting up large plants, terracotta is better as it is heavier and will help balance the plant.

If planting in plastic pots, watch your watering schedule as these have to be watered less often than clay. Plastic does not breathe so the water will stay there until it is used up by the plant. Make sure you have lots of drainage holes in your plastic pots – one is not enough, especially for larger pots. Plastic pots if used outside will weaken after time, becoming brittle around the edges and cracking. There are all kinds of other pots you can use to showcase your plants, whether inside or outside. It is a choice that demands you to make wisely, as those plants will be in those pots for a long time.

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row