Lakewood Garden Tips:


  • Plant annuals right around Memorial Day, even though the last day of frost is supposedly May 15.  Any sooner, the ground is likely to be too cold for the transplants to do well immediately, because they have been in a greenhouse environment.
  • Put mulch down after the Spring “drop” of magnolia petals, maple seed twirlies, etc.
  • Use leaf humus to amend and improve your soil.
  • Water large flowering plants at the roots so that the flowers don’t break or mold as quickly, especially for geraniums and hydrangeas.
  • For very blue hydrangeas, put an aluminum sulfate solution around the drip line once a week from May 1 to July 1.  The solution is 1 pound of sulfate to 5-7 gallons of water.  Use about 1 cup per plant to maintain the color.  Use 1 pint per plant to move it from pink to blue.
  • For pink hydrangeas, most of the soils in Lakewood are at the pH that keeps them pink, so nothing special is required.
  • Design your borders with curved lines rather than straight ones for a more natural look.  Nature doesn’t usually work in straight lines.  The exceptions include knot gardens and gardens the size of Versailles!
  • Try to use the ratio of 1:1.6 when designing borders and other garden features.  This is the “golden rectangle” found in both classic Greek architecture (think Acropolis) and nature.  Something about it is very pleasing to the eye.
  • Epsom salt solution is a great, low cost fertilizer.  Follow the directions on the package.
  • Water in the morning or late afternoon rather than at night to minimize mold and fungus growth.
  • Plant caladium bulbs when the temperature is reliably above 70 degrees.
  • Line window boxes and hanging baskets with unscented, disposable baby diapers to retain as much moisture as possible.  Presoak the diapers before lining the containers because there is a significant increase in volume.
  • An old superstition of gardeners is that you never say “Thank You” to the person sharing perennials with you.  Instead say, “I’ll give it a good home” or “ I appreciate that.”
  • Useful web-sites include:


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