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Deadheading

August 23rd, 2017

I’ve never been great at deadheading, it just slips my mind. Annuals aren’t very common in my garden, I find myself mostly focusing on perennials, hardy annuals, and things that reseed easily but don’t become invasive. There are still deadheading chores with this kind of gardening, but it’s generally shearing off the entire plant rather than cutting off spent blossoms. This year I have more annual cutting flowers that I have ever had and I find that the deadheading part is something I haven’t quite figured out how to work into my schedule. The good thing is that when I don’t get around to deadheading I can save seed for some of my favorite varieties.

Deadheading is a great way to build the compost piles. Since I’m currently using them to build up one side of my main edible garden, I’m always looking for sources to make them grow larger and produce more compost. Earlier this week, I deadheaded my cosmos, dahlias, and a few others plants and ended up with a very large tubtrug filled with flowers. It also makes for a pretty compost pile, at least for a day or so.

The other evening, while I was in the garden cutting spent blossoms off the cosmos, I was thinking it might be a good idea to set a schedule. Maybe Sunday evenings are a good time to spend deadheading and cutting things back. This is how I work my fertilization into my system without having to keep track. Generally, I give the plants that need it a liquid kelp feed on the first and the fifteenth of each month. That way I know when it happens and don’t have to try to remember or keep track.

How do you manage your time gardening to keep up with the weekly chores? 

Hoping for Repeat Blooming

August 2nd, 2017

This past week I spent time cutting back my mass planting of catmint. (it’s ‘Walker’s Low’, so no self seeding or crazy spreading). It had finished blooming and the bees were no longer lingering among the blooms. I’m hoping with a severe cut it will rebloom this fall, hopefully with a little less vigor. Gardening is always a process, always learning and editing. This mass planting of catmint is AMAZING, something I’m going to expand and do a few other places around the garden.

My planting was a little too close, I’m going to be digging up every other plant, probably next spring. That’s not a big deal because it will give me lots of plants for another mass planting. I have plans to increase this one by about two times and then do the same thing across the patio area by the back door.

After this sever cut back, I watered it will with liquid kelp. This should give it the boost it needs to rebloom nicely. I’ll keep you posted on the late summer blooms. In our short season, sometimes deadheading for a second flush of blooms doesn’t quit work. Meanwhile, I’m adding lots of goodness to the compost pile with all this deadheading. Next year it will feed pumpkins and other squashes.

What are you deadheading in the garden this week?

Garden Chores: Deadheading

June 15th, 2010

Now that the first flush of spring blooms are fading it’s time to start deadheading. I don’t deadhead everything in the garden, some things I let go to seed for the birds. There are a few plants that I deadhead to prolong blooming or because their spent blossoms are distracting in the garden. Peonies are one of those things that need deadheaded, their spent blossoms leave a mess in the garden. When you cut back the spent blossoms they look like nice tidy shrubs. One exception to this is my single peony that puts off lovely seed pods that look like tiny jester’s caps.

I like to deadhead plants like salvia, lilies and catmint because they’ll produce another flush of blooms. I wait until most of the blooms are gone and then cut or snap off individual flowers off for certain plants (salvia and day lilies) and for others you can simply shear the plant back by about one third (catmint and ‘stella de oro’ lilies).

Do you deadhead flowers in your garden? All of them or just specific ones?

Deadheading Perennials

July 21st, 2009

This week I’ve been busy deadheading my perennials that bloomed early in the season. I don’t deadhead all of my plants, just specific ones that I know will bloom again, like catmint, ‘Stella de Oro’ lillies, sage and salvia. I also deadhead my daylillies as they’re blooming to keep them blooming longer.
Deadheading_Plants
Other plants I cut off the seed heads because they’re rather aggressive reseeders and I don’t want them taking over my flowerbeds. These include: chives, balloon flowers, wild geraniums and a few others.
Balloon_Flower
I only deadhead plants until about the end of July, after that I leave them be (except for seed heads of invasives) so that they can store up energy for overwintering. Some plants get sheared off completely (catmint & lillies), others just get the dead flower heads cut off of them to tidy them up a big (sages, daylillies and balloon flowers).
Daylillies
I didn’t always deadhead, but I started to have trouble with some aggressive plants taking over and nudging out some of the plants that I wanted, so I started deadheading. I also like how it cleans up the garden and gets rid of the some of the brown, it just makes everything look a little nicer. Surprisingly it’s a garden chore that really doesn’t take that long, and it provides some compost fodder, so it does have it’s rewards.

Do you deadhead your plants or do you let nature run it’s course?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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