Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants

Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants

 

 

Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants

Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants

 

I don’t know about you but I love a beautiful flower garden, I really don’t have a green thumb but I have found that following advice from those that do have that green thumb can aid you in having that beautiful flower garden.  The “Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants,” hopefully will help you in producing a beautiful flower garden.

One reward about having a perennial flower garden is that most plants increase in size over the years, so after time some of your perennials will benefit being divided. Also you can save money by keeping your perennials healthy by dividing them.  One thing I have thought would be a great benefit is every one that had those perennial flower beds would share their divided plants with others, could surely give your community a beautiful face lift.

 

Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants.

Roots, clumps and planting

 

 

 

 

The Why’s to dividing your perennials: 

  • Keep them healthy.  Dividing the large clumps every 3 to 4 years will prevent the plant from becoming unhealthy, clumps when they get large tend to die out in the middle. Clumps can become congested or roots get old and woody.
  • Nutrients in your soil can become exhausted, therefore stunting growth, yellowish leaves or lack of bloom.
  • Protect your perennials from fungal diseases and insect infestations.
  • Overcrowded perennials often times have fewer or smaller flowers, so dividing the plants and giving them some space is like giving them a fresh breath of air.  Rejuvenate your aging plants and extend their life by dividing them. 
  • Some perennials are aggressive and can crowd out other plants, dividing these plants will keep them from becoming overwhelming to their neighbors.
  • Plus one other great benefit is that dividing your plants will give you more flowers to plant in other places or to share with your family, friends or neighbors.

When to divide your perennials:

  • You can divide most perennials any time from spring to fall, those are the best times.
  • Dividing perennials can be stressful on your plants but they will recover better from the shock in cool, moist conditions. If you have to divide in the summer make sure they have plenty of moisture.
  • One rule of thumb: perennials that flower between early spring and mid June are best divided in early fall.  Perennials that flower after mid-June are best divided in the spring.  
  • Spring is the best time to divide your ornamental grasses, especially the fall flowering types. 
  • Daylilies can be divided any time but spring is the most suitable time.

How to divide those perennials:

  • Dividing perennials can be a bit overwhelming, but follow a few general rules and you should do fine, making sure the plant roots are moist and cool. 
  • Dividing your plants with large enough clumps, too small clumps might not have the stamina to withstand the division process.
  • When your plant shows signs of growth in the spring (inch or two of new shoots), dig up a large clump, as many as thick roots as possible.  
  • Dig all the way around, then pry the clump out of the ground, try to knock off any loose soil. 
  • Part the shoots, either by cutting them apart or some perennials can just be sort of pulled apart easily. Look closely at your clumps, seeing if they have a natural point where the clump can be easily separated. You may be able to divide your clumps in 3 or 4 sections, trying to keep them the diameter of your fist or larger.
  • Each new division needs to have 2 or 3 new shoots and a good segment of healthy roots.  

What to do once you have the divided roots:

  • Plant the new divisions at the same depth that the old plant was growing.
  • Water them well and keep the soil adequately moist for several weeks.

Now that you have learned the basics “Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants,” return for the next post about dividing 4 of my favorite flower plants and some additions tips on what plants to divide and which not to divide and frequency of dividing plants.

Links to dividing flower plants:

http://www.perennials.com/content/dividing-perennials-in-the-spring/

https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/1649/

 

 




4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

 

 

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

 

 

 

 

I know it is getting kind of late in the season to start seeds indoors but the way the weather is going up here in the Northland of Wisconsin I don’t know, we may not be able to plant outdoors for quite a while, so the “4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots,” may not be too premature.  

One thing that is always needed for growing any type of plant is SUN, and as the forecast looks right now we have rain, ice & snow in our forecast for a few days in a row, so that sunshine needed for making any plants grow is going to be hidden behind those clouds!!

I am a saver so I decided trying to start some of those plants indoors this year is my way to save money, so I am hoping the “4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots” will work out well for me.  I really don’t like buying those 4 paks of seedlings when I only need 2, so I decided to start my Cilantro indoors and then I can use what I want to use, plus I am going to start some flower plants too because I wants lots & lots of Zinnias today.  Did you know that Zinnas have some benefits in your garden, like they deter beetles and tomato worms.  Come back for some flower growing tips and benefits in another post.

Use seed starting mix, a good quality mix, I purchased, Jiffy, Natural & Organic Seed Starting Mix, at Walmart, it was very inexpensive.  The plants need 12-16 hours of light for the best growth, you can place them in a window that gets plenty of sunshine or under a grow light.  Also keep the soil well watered, but not drenched, using a misting spray bottle works well, let your soil dry out just a bit between watering to insure they don’t mold.

Once the seedlings start to grow they may need to be repotted in larger containers before being planted in the garden. Also all plants to a hardening time, so gradually introduce them to the outdoors, leave them for a couple of hours at a time, this will introduce them to the sun, wind, rain and other conditions.

It is a good idea to plant extra seeds, can’t always count on every seed to sprout.  You can also start more seeds every 6 weeks that way you can plant more later on and will give you a continual supply, that is especially true for flowers, always nice to have more flowers.  Make sure to follow the planting instructions on the seed packet some can be very specific.

 

 

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

Zinnias

 

 

 

So the “4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots,” are:

  • Toilet Paper Rolls (empty ones obviously).
  • Newspaper.
  • Egg Shells.
  • Egg Cartons.

 

  1. Toilet Paper Rolls: What a low cost way to start seeds, they are also biodegradable so right from the indoors to the garden.  Fill the toilet paper tubes with the soil then plant your seeds and mist the soil. The following link will show how to prepare the paper rolls.  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/182044009917801530/

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

Toilet Paper Rolls

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

Folding Toilet Roll

 

 

 

 

 

2. Newspaper Seed Pot: Making these pots only takes a few minutes and there you have pots that can go right from indoors to the garden the newspaper decomposes naturally.  The following link will show you how to fold the newspaper.  http://lindycottagehill.blogspot.com/2011/03/recycled-newspaper-pots_19.html

 

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

Forming newspaper pots

Folded newspaper pot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Egg Shells: Not only are these so easy to use eggshells are full of useful minerals. Also the shells slowly dissolve and boost your seedlings growth and health.  I am fortunate to have a friend that has chickens that produce some extra large eggs so I have really nice sized shells.  Start with clean eggshells, use an egg carton, fill the shells with seed-starting soil.  Plant your seeds, moisten with a fine mist and then moisten every couple of days.  When the seedlings have developed and are ready for planting crush the eggshell and plant into either a larger container or ground.

 

4.  Egg Carton Greenhouse:  What a great concept, I am anxious to see how this little greenhouse works. Poke a small hole in each dimple of the carton for water drainage, then fill each egg pocket with the seed-starting soil, mist with water and mist regularly to keep moist but not soaked.  I placed my carton in a clear plastic bag and sealed up, making it a little tent, then place it in a sunny spot.

 

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots

Egg Carton with Egg Shells.

 

So there you have it on your way to starting a garden!  Some of you in warmer parts of the country have already planted your garden, but you can still start seedlings indoors to plant later in the season for those Winter Gardens.

 

4 Seed Starting Indoor Pots




Finding Your Crafting Niche

Finding Your Crafting Niche

 

 

Finding Your Crafting Niche

Craft Projects

 

I guess I have always been one of those people that likes DIY projects, I can remember back to childhood when my brothers, which I had 4 & was in the middle of them, would did “Fox Holes” when playing Army making our DIY battle field, or we will build our own “Tree House.”  I would even rake up leaves to form them into the outline of a house.  So “Finding Your Crafting Niche,” might have been something you started way back when.

 

How many of you remember playing with “Paper Dolls?”  I had tons of them, being the only girl I had to play girly things by myself a lot of the time, my all time favorite paper dolls was the “Lennon Sisters.”  As I got into my junior high years in school I started Home Economics Class & there I learned how to sew, something I carried on for years, making my children’s clothes and lots of my own, so I guess Craftiness has been a huge part of my life.

 

Finding Your Crafting Niche

Lennon Sisters Paper Dolls

 

So of course this Christmas when my daughter bought me the Cricut Explore Air I delved into another area of craft, I have to tell you there is just so much you can do with the Cricut, I have only experimented with a small portion of all you can do with the Cricut. If you are at all interested in making your own sayings on shirts this is the way to go and so much information on the Internet, tutorials, youtubes and podcasts, that there isn’t an excuse not to learn how to make those personalized vinyl projects.

You will find a number of the crafts I have made using the Cricut, but also other crafts using polymesh, a hot glue gun and fabric.  Check out some of the other blog post with the crafts I have completed.  I have to say one of my favorites is the Pop-Up Box Cards, I just think they are so unique and so easy to make and personalize.

Now if you want to get started with crafts using the Cricut let me direct you to what you need to get started!!!

Obviously you will need:

  • Cricut Machine:  Click on the link at the top of this page and you will find a machine of your choice.
  • Cricut Tool Set:  Comes in very handy for your vinyl projects, there are tool sets that you can buy in hardward store that will work too, but this set is really nice. 
  • Cricut Cutting Mats:  There are Standard and Light Grip and in different sizes. (6 X 12″, 12 X 12″ or 12 X 24″).
  • Cricut Vinyl:  This doesn’t have to be Cricut Vinyl specifically, but there are so many sites that have vinyl for sale or of course your craft stores, Michaels, Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, plus vinyl stores online.
  • Going online and starting with the Cricut Design Center and using the Access program to make your first project will give you a good taste of how the Cricut works.  And once you get hooked on using the Cricut you can always sign up for a year Cricut Access where you will find fonts, images & projects.  

Any questions, please leave them in my comment section.  If you are looking to buy a Cricut or Access check out the links here on my blog.  Enjoy “Finding Your Crafting Niche.”

Vinyl Online: https://expressionsvinyl.com

Learning the Cricut:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RBM1TUNzuY

 




Growing A Successful Garden

Growing A Successful Garden

 

 

Growing A Successful Garden

Growing A Successful Garden

 

“Growing A Successful Garden,” starts with a strong foundation.

 

The condition of your soil all depends on getting the soil ready, eliminating weeds and spending time getting your soil in the best condition. Time spent in preparing your soil reduces the time you will spend throughout the course of the growing season!  It also will produce healthy nutritious vegetables!

Soil Textures:  Sand, Silt and Clay.

  1. Sandy soil feels gritty, it tends to be nutrient poor and low in beneficial microbes and organic matter that plants thrive on.
  2. Silty soil feels smooth like talcum powder.  It is dense and does not drain well and is more fertile than sandy or clay soil.
  3. Clay soil feels harsh when dry and slippery and stick when wet.
  4. Most soils fall in between one of these soils.

Soil Fixes:

  • Sandy soil can be improved by adding organic material – well-rotted livestock compost, used wood chips, leaves, hay, straw, peat moss or sawdust.  Applying 2″ layers of the organic material each year will make for better soil.
  • Silty soil can can be improved by adding coarse sand (not beach sand) or compost.  Add an inch of organic matter each year.
  • Clay soils will be improved by adding 2-3″ of organic matter worked into it.  Add compost, coarse sand (not beach sand), and peat moss.  Applying 1″ of organic matter each year can only improve it.

Good Soil Amendments:

  • Bark – made from tree bards are good for improving soil structure.
  • Compost – excellent for soil.
  • Manure – well-rotted livestock manure.
  • Leaf Mold – decomposed leaves.
  • Lime – raises the pH of acid in soil, also helps loosen clay soil.
  • Peat Moss – helps retain water.
  • Sand – improves drainage in clay soil.
  • Mulch – Organic (straw, hay, grass clippings, shredded bark) insulates the soil from extreme heat and cold.

Plants need air just as humans!  That makes me think of when my youngest granddaughter was like 2 or 3, when this old grandma would get up out of the chair I would walk kind of stiff like and she said to me, “Grandma why do you walk like a penguin?”  Then one day I wasn’t walking all stiff like and I said to her, “Ali, grandma isn’t walking like a penguin today.” and her response was, “You mean you are walking like a human?”  Just had to add that tidbit!!

Walking like a penguin

 

Now back to plants need air, air in the soil holds atmospheric nitrogen that is converted into usable air for plants.  Adding organic material, especially compost helps balance air supply to plants.

Plants also get thirsty:  When rain isn’t sufficient then we need to add or not add it.  All forms of life need water but not too much or too little.  In sandy soils water drains off quickly, silt or clay soil get water-logged, this will suffocate the plant roots and soil organisms.  Adding organic material holds water so that plants can use it when needed.

 

Watering the garden

 

Compost will improve almost any soil, silty and clay soils gain nutrients and are improved greatly with adding compost. Make your own compost or buy it, either way it is a beneficial organic material to add to your garden.  Making your own compost is as easy as piling layers of brown (straw, leaves) and green layers (grass clippings, livestock manure or food waste) on top of one another, keep the pile wet.   DIY Compost:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAMy_ZJ0Xa8

There is so much more to know about “Growing A Successful Garden.”  Yet once you have that garden going and are enjoying all the benefits of having that fresh produce or if you are one that freezes or cans it for the winter months it is so worth it.

My personal tricks I have used in my garden that I found worked well.

  • Crushed Egg Shells:  I save them up for a while in the spring and then I put them in my blender and make them into a powder and use them when planting my tomatoes, they are a great calcium builder.  There are other plants that they are really useful for.
  • Epsom Salt:  I have used this for a couple of years when planting my peppers, I just put a handful in the ground before adding the plant, I also have mixed Epsom Salt with water and put it in a spray bottle and sprayed the pepper plants once peppers start forming on the plant.  Epsom Salt is rich in magnesium and sulfate.
  • Grass Cuttings:  I have raked up the grass cuttings after my husband mows the grass and I pile it around my tomato plants, it keeps the weeds out and also gives the tomato plants.  https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/tomato/mulch-for-tomatoes.htm

So there you have it, I hope this gives you some useful information for your gardening journey!!!  




Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme

Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme

 

Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme

 

 

  

The weather is warming up, Spring is upon us and it is “Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme.”

Gardening seems so easy, but if you want those garden plants to produce for you there are steps to take make sure your soil is up to par.  When it comes to a healthy garden, soil preparation makes a difference.

Testing your soil.  You can have your soil tested at a local cooperative extension service office for free or a low-fee.  Or you can buy a DIY Soil Test Kit.  I used a test kit to check my soil last year.  Test kits:  (links).

 

Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme

pH Test Kit

 

 

 

How do you know if your soil is healthy?  Let’s start with the facts of pH levels:

  • Plants primary nutrients are nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).
  • Nitrogen promotes strong leaf, stem growth and dark green color, such as broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and herbs.
  • Phosphorus promotes root and early plant growth, it’s important for cucumbers, peppers, squash and tomatoes.
  • Potassium promotes plant root vigor, disease and stress resistance and also enhances flavor. Vital for carrots, radishes, onions and garlic.
  • Calcium, magnesium and sulfur are your secondary nutrients.
  • Calcium is essential to plant growth, an important part of the walls of the plant cells and root development.
  • Sulfur lacking plants are not able to take in necessary nutrients, including vitamins and proteins.
  • Magnesium is vital to the process of photosynthesis, lack of it stunts the plants growth.

pH levels are critical to your plants ability to absorb nutrients.  A pH of 6.5 is a good number for home gardens, plant will thrive in pH levels 6.0 to 7.0 (slightly acidic to neutral) range.  If your soil is acidic (low pH at or below 6.0) or alkaline (high pH, above 7.0), the plants won’t be able to absorb the nutrients, so soil testing is very advantageous to a healthy garden.

Testing the soil in the spring or fall is the best time as then the soil is stable.  Also best time to add any soil amendments or fertilizers.

As respected gardener Frank Tozer writes:  “When building soil you not only improve your plants health, but you can improve your own.”

I have only been gardening seriously for 4 years, most times my garden has given a great amount of produce, but I have had some nutrient issues.  Last year I had Blossom End Rot on my Zucchini, I solved it by mixing up my own calcium treatment, which was ground up egg shells, milk and crushed up antacid tablets!!  A real cheap way to solve a very annoying problem for your calcium lacking soil.  

 

Vegetable Garden Preparation Thyme

 

Please come back tomorrow for my post on Soil Fixes, Soil Texture and Soil Life.  Some gardening tricks I have found to be very low-priced and works great in the garden.

 

Here are a few links that might also be helpful:

Blossom End Rot:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/259519997251632365/

pH Levels:  http://www.almanac.com/content/ph-preferences

Vegetable Gardening For Beginners:  http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/vegetable-gardening/5069.html

 

 

 

 

 




DIY Low Cost Cotton Boll Stems

DIY Low Cost Cotton Boll Stems

 

DIY Low Cost Cotton Boll Stem

DIY Low Cost Cotton Boll Stem

 

I first saw the Cotton Boll Stems on the Fixer Upper show, loved how they looked and then I saw them at Hobby Lobby at 50% off, wanted to buy them but still too expensive, but then I happen to see a tutorial on how to make your own, so here we are, “DIY Low Cost Cotton Boll Stems.”

What you need to make these stems is so low cost and yet they look so great.

  • Cotton Balls
  • Tree Stems
  • Pine Cones
  • Hot Glue Gun

 

DIY Low Cost Cotton Boll Stems

Branches, cotton balls and pine cones.

 

 

I just went out to my yard and found tree branches laying around in the yard, how much cheaper could you get? I also found the pine cones in my yard, now I realize everyone doesn’t have pine cones laying around so you may have to purchase some large ones or maybe you can find some around in your neighborhood, park or even a cemetery.  I would suggest looking for the larger cones they work the best.  You will have to pull the pieces off the cone, you may want to use a pliers and try to pick cones that don’t have the sap on them it can get quite sticky.

 

DIY Low Cost Cotton Stem Bolls

Pine Cone Pieces

 

Put a dollop of hot glue in the middle of the cotton ball, I indented mine a little before putting the glue on.

 

DIY Low Cost Cotton Boll Stem

Glue in center of cotton ball

 

I then stuck the cotton ball onto the branch, be careful not burn yourself, push the ball down and form it into a nice cotton boll.

 

DIY Low Cost Cotton Boll Stem

Attached Cotton Ball onto branch.            

Attaching cotton onto stems

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it is onto adding your pine cone scales to form your shell for the cotton boll.  I used 4 scales per cotton boll, you can judge how many work for your cotton bolls.  I put glue down from about the middle of the scale to the bottom so they would stick well on the cotton boll and somewhat on the stem.

 

DIY Low Cost Cotton Boll Stem

Attaching pine cone pieces onto cotton ball.       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just continue applying the cotton bolls and pine cone scales and until you think they look full enough.  I didn’t put as many on my branches as I could of so use your judgement to how you would like it to look.

 

There are plenty of ideas for making these Cotton Boll Stems online if you need more inspiration.

 

And here you have it “DIY Low Cost Cotton Boll Stems.”

 

 

Cotton Boll Stem

 

 

 

 

 




DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

 

DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

 

I just needed some Spring added to my house and so what could be more attractive then a bring colorful wreath.  Alas, my “DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath.”

I have never worked with the Deco Mesh for a wreath before, I had shared back in December the Deco Mesh Garland that I made: http://grammescountrysplendor.com/budget-candy-cane-garland/  that was my first time working with the deco mesh. 

So here are the supplies you will need to make your “DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath.”

  • 1-21″ Deco Mesh Roll (color of choice)
  • 4-10″ Deco Mesh Rolls (color of choice)
  • Wire Ring 
  • Chenille Stems
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Flowers
  • Ribbons

 

DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

Supplies for DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

 

The colors I used were the blue, green, pink, yellow, lime green & purple and it is a 14″ wire wreath ring.

I started by cutting my 4-10″ rolls into 10″ pieces, then I attached the chenille stems on the ring, I have to tell you that I wasn’t really sure just how many or where to place these, but I ended up doing 2 on each section of the ring for all 4 levels of the ring.  You can cut layers of the 10″ deco mesh at once, makes it go faster.

 

DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

Cutting 10″ pieces of   deco mesh.

DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

Cutting layers of mesh

DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

Wire Ring with chenille stems

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it comes to the attaching the deco mesh step.  I started with the 21″ roll of deco mesh, you just take the end of it and attach it on the outside part of the ring, I didn’t attach it on each ring, but you can experiment and see what you like best, you just kind of puff it as you attach it, whatever you like works!!  

 

First layer of deco mesh

 

Once you have the 21″ deco mesh attached you can start attaching the 10″ pieces wherever you like, just roll them and fold in half and attach and you are on your way to forming your, “DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath.”

 

DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

Attaching 10″ pieces onto ring.

 

Once you have all you deco mesh attached and are satisfied with how it looks you can cut your ribbon, I used the wire ribbon, it holds it’s shape better.  I cut my ribbon 10″ long and then cut the a V out of the ends, attached it to the wreath as I thought looked good.  I did not hide the chenille stems, since I used silver shiny stems I thought they added a nice touch to the wreath and actually you don’t see much of them anyway.  I also added the flowers at this time just securing them with the chenille stems also.  

 

All the 10″ pieces attached                                          

DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

Flowers added to wreath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Ta Da there is the finished “DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath.”

 

DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

 

 

Because I had not made one of these before I needed some guidance and here is a link to a youtube that helped me along.  And also I purchased my Deco Mesh online here is a great link for a good price on the deco mesh:

 

I hope you enjoyed this DIY Deco Mesh Spring Wreath share.  Leave a comment!!