If you want to bring some spring color into your home you should try forcing blooms from your spring flowering shrubs. It is really easy to do, just follow these easy steps and you will have spring early.
Branches should be collected on a warm winter day and should be 12” – 14” long with many large flower buds. Flower buds on most plants are larger and often roundish compared to leaf buds. Forsythia shoots located at the top will often contain the most flower buds.
Before placing your branches in a vase remove side branches and buds that will be submerged in water to prevent rot. Change the water in the vase daily to prevent foul odors and reduce the potential for rot.
Put your vase in low light and cool temperatures. Spray lightly with water two to three times per day to prevent buds from drying out. Once flowers begin to emerge, move plants to a brighter room, but keep them out of direct sunlight. Keep flowers in a cooler location, away from direct heat sources, to prolong the bloom.
Some great plants to force are forsythia, quince, redbud, and crabapple.
February is a great month to do any pruning that needs be done. Wounds heal quickly, and it is easy to see undesirable branches without foliage in the way. Prune crossing branches or damaged wood, and cut out water sprouts. Finally, remove suckers from the trunk.
Apply dormant oils and fungicides to fruit trees now. Dormant sprays are important because some pests attack before visible growth begins. Dormant oils control scale insects, aphids and mite eggs. Apply dormant oil before buds open on the tree, when temperatures are above freezing and expected to stay above freezing for the next 24 hours. Fungicides applied during the dormant period control diseases such as peach leaf curl.
Don’t forget to see us at the Manhattan Area Garden Show, February 16th and 17th. Use this link for details http://www.riley.ksu.edu/doc3052.ashx
It might be February but it sure looks like spring in the Garden Store! New merchandise is arriving daily including (are you ready?), terrariums, gnomes, new and innovative tools, colorful gloves, glazed pots, wind chimes, new houseplants, garden flags, fairy gardening and miniature gardening supplies, rain gauges, wire garden art, seed starting supplies, jiffy pots, benches, fountains, unique home and garden décor, bird feeders, and more to come.
Seed racks will be here soon and we already have cole crop seed in stock.
Don’t forget the Manhattan Area Garden (Pottorf Hall in Cico Park) is February 16th and 17th and Home Show (Manhattan National Guard Armory) is February 23rd and 24th.
The store is changing daily with new display units and a little re-arranging, but don’t worry, we will still help you find everything you need!