12/29/20 – The Garden Line with Mike Wiggins

The Garden Line
The Garden Line
12/29/20 – The Garden Line with Mike Wiggins

On this episode of the Garden Line, Mike Wiggins talks all about New Year’s Resolutions for gardeners. Which ones will you be committing to?

  • I resolve to plant all of my plants correctly.
  • In our area, we have sand not soil, so we must amend every time we plant.
    • Soil amendment crash course: Dig the hole twice as large as the root ball. Put in a couple shovelfuls of Canadian sphagnum peat moss, add organic material, maybe some lime (depending on the plant), and mix it all together like a cake batter. Remove enough mixture to fit the root ball. Score the roots with a razor blade (don’t skip this step!), gingerly place the plants deep enough in the hole to be level with the ground, backfill with sand, add mulch or pine straw, water frequently for the first few days.
  • I resolve to water and mow my lawn correctly.
    • Mowing: Be sure to have a good sharp blade and base the height on your type of grass:
      • St. Augustine: 4″
      • Centipede: 3″
      • Zoysia: 2″
      • Do not deviate! Once you set the height, stick with it.
    •  Watering: If you’re north of 9 Mile Rd, you likely have a good amount of clay in your lawn and don’t need to water as much as those closer to the beach with sandy soil that drains quickly.
      • Run sprinklers or water by hand 2-3 times per week for 30 minutes unless we hit a hot, dry patch.
      • Water in the early morning – not at night or at midday or afternoon.
    • I resolve to plant a crape myrtle this year.
    • I resolve to feed the birds. Put out a bird feeder to attract a variety of feathered friends to your yard. Great activity to do with kiddos and learn all about the different birds you spot.
    • I resolve to put more color in my yard this year. Select an area for your colorful flowers and place permanent plants around that area. Make the space manageable.
      • Summertime: Once it gets really hot, it’s hard to keep some plants alive.
      • Full sun plants that keep up with the heat:
        • Salvia – red salvia in various heights
        • Sun begonias
        • Vinca (aka periwinkle)
      • Shade plants
        • Caladiums – Plant bulbs early to mid April, have them up by June and enjoy through Labor Day. Like any bulbs, the bigger the better. 1 jumbo bulb in a 10-12″ pot.
        • Impatiens
      • Permanent plants to augment annuals
        • Acuba
        • Flax lily
        • Fatsia japonica
        • Day lilies
        • Gerbera daisies
    • I resolve to plant a rose this year. 
      • Tea roses, tropicana, John F. Kennedy, granda flora, flora bunda, miniature roses – take your pick and plant four or five to see if you like it.
        • Roses need to be heavily fertilized at least once per month.

Mike also answers a listener’s question about pruning banana plants growing around a pool enclosure.

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