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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Heat Wave! TLC for new plants

Today we are expecting record high temperatures here on Long Island. Just earlier this week we were cold and wet, the plants have not had a chance to warm up very much.

In the garden you might see larger leafed plants wilting. They will be fine once temperatures get back to normal but if you are worried about them, you could place something near them that would shade them.

I've used beach umbrella's stuck into the ground to shade newly planted babies. I also have an old set of wrought iron furniture and I will take a chair and just place it over a plant.

Don't use PVC furniture to shade plantings, they blow over too easily and I've had plants squashed when I thought I was protecting them.

The ideal weather to plant new arrivalss is a cloudy day or even when there's a light rain falling. Hot sunny days are the worst condition to plant things. Unfortunately, when it's hot and sunny on a weekend people don't always have time to wait a few days.

Don't forget to water your plants in well. If you can wait to plant them, store your new plants in a shaded area and wait a day or two. If you must plant them today, try to do so in the late afternoon or evening. You could prepare the area during the heat of the day, don't forget to work in lots of compost and loosen the soil.

Another tip for you, don't forget to photograph your new arrivals so you can keep track of what you have. This photo shows a Eupatorium 'Phantom' that I purchased last year. On my computer I can zoom in enough to read the tag. This plant has not yet popped up in my garden but I have another Eupatorium that is well established and it too has not yet come out of the soil.

Some perennials are very late to come out, especially ones that bloom in late summer and fall. None of the Platycodons (balloon flowers) have come up yet, the Liatris (Kansas Gay Feathers) are just now breaking ground. I try to leave myself a little reminder with a tag or some of last years foliage so I don't make the mistake and dig up the healthy roots of a plant.

Out to play in the rock garden today. Thanks to all of you who came yesterday and made my opening day a huge success! It was exactly what I had hoped for.


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