this is my first year planting perennials in my garden and I have some questions.
I would like to plant some hostas, should I plant them now in the fall or next spring?
I have a nice big rose bush, ambrose? I am not sure of the name, when do I prune it and when do I feed it?
The grass in garden is not nice at all, I would like to plant something I should not have to mow the lawn any more, please advice.
I put some of my interior plants outside, should I wash them before I bring them back inside? please advice what product to use to wash them.
Should I plant more perennials now or it is better next spring?
I really appreciate your help,
Thank you very much
You can plant perennials, including hostas, now. We will still have several more weeks of warm weather so the newly planted things can develop good root systems before winter.
Grass – instead of grass you could use ground cover plants, but you would need to dig the grass up, and buy, plant and then water and weed all the ground cover plants. After a few years, when they are established, they wouldn’t need so much work. Whether to replace the grass depends partly on what you do on it. If it’s a children’s play area, or there is a lot of foot traffic, ground covers likely won’t work. Nothing beats grass for walkability. Another thing you could do is take up the grass and plant perennials and shrubs. You could plan that so that once established it may not need a lot of maintenance. I think you might do better to improve the quality of your grass by top seeding and watering in the fall when it’s cooler.
Roses – Most roses need regular feeding. Begin fertilizing newly planted roses with a liquid fertilizer (synthetic or organic) after they’re established, about a month after planting. Start feeding older plants in spring when new growth is about 6 inches long. Most will benefit from a second feeding of liquid fertilizer after the first bloom, and repeat-blooming roses prefer regular feeding every 2-3 weeks until late summer. Stop feeding about 8 weeks before your average first frost date. If you use granular fertilizer, it’s important to scratch the granules into the soil around the base of the plant and then water it in well after each application. There are organic options, such as fish emulsion, manures, compost tea, and alfalfa pellets.
In general, you should prune rose bushes just before the plant breaks dormancy after spring’s final frost. This will be anytime between January and April in cold climates. If it’s old roses you are tending, prune them after blooming.
I like this link from Martha Stewart about how to prune roses. The instructions are simple, which is good for beginners.
For plants that have been outside for the summer, you should plan to bring them in a couple of weeks before the first fall frost date. It’s less of a shock to the plants to bring them in while it’s still relatively warm outside. I check my plants over carefully for insects and then just bring them in. If you want to do more, you can wash your plants along with the pots in warmish water with mild liquid soap. Don’t use soaps containing de-greasers or detergents as they could harm delicate plants. After washing the plants in soapy water, rinse thoroughly with clean water and leave to drain before bringing them inside.
I hope this advice has given you a good start to a lovely garden.