gardenerscardiff.co.uk

For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Nov 23

Your Questions About Gardening

Carol asks…

Where can I find some good resources on gardening and/or greenhouses?

I’m especially interested in learning greenhouse and gardening techniques that aren’t expensive to maintain after the initial setup costs.

I would be in a colder climate with 500-10,000 dollars to invest. Its a relaxing activity I think I’d enjoy that could pay off as fuel and energy costs continue to rise.

I’m especially interested in websites or books you think might help me out.

Thanks!

GardenersCardiff answers:

When I first started it was the library, Barnes and Nobel (they have excellent books there), your local nurseries, and of course, catalogs which have enormous amount of information describing plants, flowers and pricing of greenhouses.(www.greenhouses.com)
The best books I have found were:
Better Homes and Garden “Garden ideas and Outdoor living”
Better Homes and Gardens “New Garden Book”
“1,001 Gardening Secrets The Experts Never Tell You”
“Jerry Baker’s” numerous books(Master Gardener)and of course my favorite, Paul James”Gardening by the Yard” on HG TV. Hope that helps!

Charles asks…

Attn: Southern Oregonians, whats the name of the flower catalog you get in the mail?

Ok, when I lived in southern Oregon, we got these catalogs with gorgeous flowers in them, and we got them in the mail without requests. Does anybody know the name of this catalog? I don’t receive it where I am now, and I really would like to know what catalog it is! It has Iris, Roses, Tulips, and other bulbs. I can’t remember for the life of me what it was!

GardenersCardiff answers:

I think I know the catalog you’re thinking of – always beautiful pictures. My favorites for the photographs are Michigan Bulb company and Dutch Gardens. Territorial Seed company is based in Oregon, but their catalog is printed on newsprint and not very colorful.
Here’s a great site that lists many of the seed/flower company’s websites along with descriptions of their catalogs:
http://www.casperstartribune.net/garden/links.php

Robert asks…

How do I plant my first garden?

I just brought my first home and I have a big back yard. I wanted to know how do I start a garden? I was thinking of planting some roses and tulips. Does anyone know what i should plant to attract butterflies? What other kind of flowers can I plant?

GardenersCardiff answers:

Start small! But not to small. Get a soil test to find out if and what type of nutrients your soil needs. Then just flip over your grass and give it a few chops with the shovel. Amend soil by adding fertilizer if needed then add a couple of bags of Humis/manure to condition the soil and maybe a couple of bags of top soil if you think the area is a little low. Make sure the grass is flipped over completly and covered with soil. Do this as soon as the ground is dry enough. The soil should not be wet but break apart in your hand when you try to crumble it. Let the garden area just sit a little bit (grass will rot) As soon as the last frost for you area is you can start planting. Sure wouldn’t hurt to cover the area with plastic or even wet newspaper sprinkled with more dirt to way it down to promote the grass to rot and discourage weeds to sprout. Remove plastic before planting. Newspaper could stay making a great mulch to help stop weeds.
Cool colors pink purple or Hot colors orange red yellow. Sunflowers? How about complementary? That is where you pick colors opposite of each other on the color chart. I like orange tiger lilies with purple petunias. Can’t get easier then those to hard to kill plants.
Roses would be o.k. They have more disease resistant varieties then ever. American something grows well. Tulips are good but you have to wait until Fall to plant those.
Butterflies love my Zinnias. Extremly easy to grow annual that flowers quickly by just planting the seeds. You shouldn’t grow them closer then a foot apart though or else you run the risk of mildew in the fall. Also try to not water the leaves especially in the late afternoon. Delphiniums ar great with their purple to blue colors. Hummingbirds really enjoy this Perennial. Needs wind protection or staking. Butterflies also like my Sedum (autumn joy)
If I were you I would grow a plant called Dahlia in the back center of garden, sold as a bulb type plant in a box at any Home Depot Lowes type store. (get the larger type 36″ to 50″ for height. They are gorgeous and bloom all summer. Grow some Zinnias on both sides find pastel type cool colors. And grow some petunias or white allysum (smells really nice) in the front of the dahlias and zinnias for a border plant, and put a rose bush on both ends of your garden and, wa la a gorgeous garden quick. And if Zinnias get mildew, when it gets bad rip em out and plant your tulips. When you Zinnia’s sprout and you have identified them and thinned them out keep up on the weeding of your garden. Your plants will spread out quickly but you have to keep up on the weeds until they do. If you can afford perennials for the back of your garden I would mulch heavily with wood chips to keep out the weeds. Hope this isn’t too much info. This Garden Plan and plant list is for a Sunny Location. A shade garden would need different type of plants. Dahlias do not survive cold winters you would have to dig up and save the (tubers) you could also save your zinnia flower heads after they dry out for seeds for next year. I have never enjoyed so many butterflies then with these two plants. Go to a garden catalog website and check out what they look like.
P.s. You’ll enjoy the beauty of you garden whatever you plant!
Master Gardener MSU Extension

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