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Bolting and Buttoning in Cole Crop Plants
Even after transplanting, these plants need to be well-fertilized. Fertilize at transplanting with a starter solution and continue to fertilize every 2 to 3 weeks until harvest. Both buttoning and bolting are irreversible. Once a seed stalk starts for form, nothing can be done to force the plant to produce a normal crop. (Ward Upham)
Strawberry Mulch Removal
Fertilizing Perennial Flowers
Fertilizer should be applied as growth begins in the spring. Perennials that tend to need more fertilizer than the average perennials include astilbe, chrysanthemum, delphinium, lupines, and summer phlox. A second application during summer may be helpful for these plants. (Ward Upham)
Numerous characteristics contribute to the attractiveness of this plant. Leaves are a dark, glossy green and are rarely bothered by pests. Creamy, white flowers appear in late summer when few plants are in bloom. The inflorescence is distinctive in arrangement and effect. Though each individual flower is quite small, they are borne in a panicle with six flowers tiered in a whorl with the seventh terminating the inflorescence. Panicles are born on the tips of branches.
After the flowers fade, fruit appears with surrounding sepals. Color changes from green to red and persists for 2 to 3 weeks. This plant is actually more attractive in this post-bloom period than in flower.
Though often grown as a large shrub, Seven-son Flower can be trained as a small tree and reach 15 to 25 feet in height. Exfoliating (peeling) bark is attractive with the inner bark being lighter. Hardy to Zone 5, seven-son flower prefers moist, well-drained soils. (Ward Upham)
Cut Back Ornamental Grasses
If the center of the clump shows little growth, the plant would benefit from division. Dig up the entire clump and separate. Then replant the vigorous growth found on the outer edge of the clump. (Ward Upham)
Pruning Deciduous Shrubs
Deciduous shrubs are placed into three groups:
• Those that flower in the spring on wood produced last year;
• Those that flower later in the year on current seasons’ growth; and
• Those that may produce flowers, but those flowers are of little ornamental value.
Shrubs that flower in the spring should not be pruned until immediately after flowering. Though pruning earlier will not harm the health of the plant, the flowering display will be reduced or eliminated. Examples of these types of plants include forsythia, lilac, flowering quince, Vanhoutte spirea, bridal wreath spirea and sweet mockorange. Shrubs that bloom on current seasons’ growth or that do not produce ornamental flowers are best pruned in March. Examples include Rose-of-Sharon, pyracantha, Bumald spirea, and Japanese spirea.
Pruning during the spring allows wounds to heal quickly without threat from insects or disease. There is no need to treat pruning cuts with paints or sealers. In fact, some of these products may slow healing.
There are three basic methods used in pruning shrubs: thinning, heading back, and rejuvenating. Thinning is used to thin out branches from a shrub that is too dense. It is accomplished by removing most of the inward growing twigs by either cutting them back to a larger branch or cutting them back to just above an outward- facing bud. On multi-stemmed shrubs, the oldest canes may be completely removed. Heading back is done by removing the end of a branch by cutting it back to a bud and is used for either reducing height or keeping a shrub compact. Branches are not cut back to a uniform height because this results in a "witches-broom" effect.
Rejuvenation is the most severe type of pruning and may be used on multi-stem shrubs that have become too large, with too many old branches to justify saving the younger canes. All stems are cut back to 3- to 5-inch stubs. This is not recommended for all shrubs but does work well for spirea, forsythia, pyracantha, ninebark, Russian almond, little leaf mock orange, shrub roses and flowering quince. (Ward Upham)
Contributors: Ward Upham, Extension Associate