Posts tagged perennial

Battle of the plants

This information is from Master Gardeners Claire Smith and Deb Walser:

 Annuals or Perennials?  Perennials or Annuals?  It’s a question asked every spring.  I so much enjoy the zinnias and impatiens and petunias that flower so easily and beautifully all summer.  But, when I shop in the spring, do I want to pay for those annuals year after year or do I pay a little more and have perennials, those wonderful plants that sleep all winter and emerge with the warmth of spring year after year, almost all by themselves?

Now there is an advantage to annuals:  if you love the plant but dislike its location in your garden there’s no problem because it’s not going to come up next year anyway. You can buy another one in the spring and plant it elsewhere.  Perennials can be transplanted and moved, but just not as easily. 

Master Gardener, Deb Walser has this to say about Annual Flowers vs. Perennial Flowers: 

         Annual flowers need to be planted every year.  They may require continuous deadheading (removal of old flowers) to look their best.  Some annuals are self cleaning and don’t need to be deadheaded.  Most should not be planted before May 10 (Cedar Rapids predicted last frost date).  Planting before May 10 may result in freezing (death) and replacement of the plant after May 10.  They provide continuous color for most of the summer.  

        Perennial flowers are planted once. They, too, require some deadheading. Most can be planted at any time of the year. Thinning may be necessary after 3-4 years.  Different varieties bloom at different times of the summer.  A good design for beds and borders should include varieties that bloom spring, early summer, mid summer, late summer and fall for continuous color.

          It can be expensive to replant large areas each year with annuals.  Although the cost of perennials is more initially, you will only have to plant them once (God-willing).  A perennial garden supplemented with annuals is the best of both worlds.  

         Stay tuned: the Linn County Master Gardeners are planning a Garden Walk this summer.  The event is still in the planning stages, but will be a wonderful opportunity to visit several gardens with a variety of plants, flowers and shrubs and speak oneonone with Master Gardeners.  Details will follow later about this great opportunity  

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Master Gardeners

This post is from Linn County Master Gardener Claire Smith:

The holidays are over; your exercise program is already boring. You need something to look forward to.  Have you considered gardening?  Gardening is a summer job, you say?  Not necessarily.  Grab a seed catalog, your favorite snack, put your feet up and dream!   Don’t know where to start?  Welcome to the Iowa State University Linn County Master Gardeners!  We’re a group of men and women who have voluntarily completed a horticulture education training program and we’re dedicated and willing to share our knowledge with our community.

For example, an annual will grow and bloom only for one season where a perennial will grow and bloom (hopefully) for several seasons.  Once in awhile you’ll encounter a biennial.  Those plants flower every other year.

             Somebody said we’re in a zone.  That’s correct.  The United States is divided into areas—or zones—determined by weather conditions.  The Northern half of Linn County is in Zone 4 and the Southern half in Zone 5.  Purchase plants according to your respective zone.

            No equipment?  A good pair of gloves, a hat, a small spade and determination will let you create your master piece.

Still not convinced?  Have lots and lots of questions?  Master Gardeners  

provide several avenues to answer plant related questions.

*      Log on to this blog where we will routinely address a variety of  interesting topics.

*      Call the Horticulture Line at 319-447-0647 and visit one-on-one with a Master Gardener. (If we miss you, please leave a message.)  We willl return your call as soon as possible. 

*      Master Gardeners answer questions on Fridays at 11:50 A.M. on  KCRG.

*      Listen to WMT each Wednesday and Saturday. Wednesdays, 9:10-10:00 A.M. Saturdays, 7:10-8:00 A.M. for additional gardening advice and information.

            Look for future Master Gardener postings on a weekly basis on this blog.

           

                                     

                            

   

 

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