Relax in Your Garden with Tips from Kowalski's
Posted: Friday, July 1, 2011
Our Gift and Floral Buyers Jerri Mahoney and Mark Wachter love to garden and sent along these recent photos that definitely show off their green thumbs. It made us a little envious, so we asked them for a few tips that might help the rest of us create the same tranquil feel of their lovely shade gardens.
"Hostas are great for a garden that gets the morning sun and the afternoon shade. They are a hardy plant that is fairly easy to grow and share with other gardeners. If you want to split your hosta plants to give to friends, it is best to do it in the spring when the tips are just popping through the soil. When transplanting them, you should dig a hole that is at least a foot in depth. The hole should be approximately one and a half times the anticipated width of the fully grown plant."
"In the fall, I plant tulip bulbs in amongst my hostas. When the tulips bloom in the spring, they give color to the plant bed. Just about the time they are finished blooming, the hostas have come up. Their foliage will hide the tulip leaves as they die off, leaving a beautiful garden of green in their place."
- Hostas come in a variety of sizes and colors. There are more than 2,500 varieties available! They may be solid in color or variegated in different combinations of blue, green, white and gold. They vary in size from only a few inches in diameter to eight feet wide and even larger.
- All hostas bloom in summer with spikes of lavender to white, lily-like flowers. In general, the blue-leafed hostas require shade, while the gold, yellow and white-leafed hostas can tolerate more sun. Most grow best with five to six hours of daily sun, preferably with morning and some early afternoon sun.
- Companion plants enhance the appearance of a planting of hostas. Some examples include crocus, tulips, daffodils, trillium, and forget-me-nots. Ferns, pulmonarias and wild gingers are also nice companion plants. In the summer months, bright annuals such as impatiens, begonia and coleus offer attractive pairings. Hostas are notoriously hearty, so even if you don’t have a green thumb, you should have success with this plant.
- Hostas grow best in well drained, nutrient-rich soil with a slightly elevated pH level.
- They require regular watering and application of a good balanced fertilizer on a regular basis.
- Snails and slugs can be a problem for hostas. Natural remedies such as placing dishes of beer in amongst the plants provide some relief but the products sold at your local nursery may offer better protection.