Showing posts from April, 2010

A Professional Look in Mulching

This spring has been milder and warmer than normal for my Zone 5 area. My gardening business has been very busy with garden clean up and mulching. Business is much better this year than last and I hope that it means that the economy is improving. Most people are just eager to be outside again after those long months of winter.

This year I have spent more time mulching than I ever have. Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil and reduces weeds. It adds nutrients back to the soil as it breaks down and it really makes for a clean attractive garden after it is down. In the Midwest, people mulch their gardens with mulch made from shredded hardwood, cypress, pine or cedar. Mulch can be purchased in colors from black, dark brown, gold or red depending on your personal taste. If you want to mulch your garden and have a professional look after you are done, here are some simple rules to follow.

Cut your grass before mulching. Many people fertilize and the grass grows tall and hides the ed…

Grape Hyacinths

You always know that spring has come when the Grape hyacinths start to bloom in the garden. They always add that beautiful splash of blue, mixed in with the colors of the tulips and daffodils. Grape hyacinths or Muscari armeniacum bloom in my zone 5 garden in April. The foliage looks similar to grass and the plant grows from about 6 to 9 inches tall. It's the flowers that really draws attention to this little plant. The deep blue flowers look great in a mass planting, in rock gardens, woodland gardens, as a companion plants to other spring flowering bulbs or for naturalizing. They grow in zones 3-10. Grape hyacinths grow in full sun or light shade in locations with rich, well-drained soil. Plant the bulbs in the fall about 3 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches apart. Grape hyacinths will thrive if left undisturbed and will multiply rapidly.They will benefit from the addition of some 12-12-12- fertilizer. The bulbs can be purchased at garden centers, nurseries or from online nurseries.