Perennials come in many forms. Some will reappear each year growing and blooming for extended periods, others are intended for just 3 or 4 years of dependable beauty. Most perennials are long lived, bringing many years of enjoyment.
It is important to consider the growth pattern of the perennials you are considering. Some will retain their foliage year round (evergreen perennials), while others (herbaceous perennials) recede into dormancy, and after a short rest produce abundant new foliage and flowers.
Three Steps to Success With Perennials
1. Soil Preparation
Proper soil preparation is the single most important factor in having success with perennials. For heavy soils, we recommend adding several amendments. Organic Matter will retain moisture in summer and improve drainage during the winter. In addition, by incorporating fertilizer you will provide nutrients essential to sustain growth and promote flowers. Below are some amendments and a recipe you should consider.
Master Nursery Gold Rush is a great organic soil amendment and contains 15% chicken manure for early vegetative growth (2 cubic feet per 50 square feet).
Master Nursery Rose and Flower Food is a slow release food which encourages both new growth and flowers (6 cups per 50 square feet).
FST is an iron sulfate amendment and provides much needed iron and lowers the soil pH; this can make nutrients more available to your plants (5lbs per 100 square feet).
Gypsum or Gypsite alters the soil structure, allowing moisture and oxygen to penetrate freely, deep into the soil. Also makes the clay less sticky so it’s easier to work with. For each 100 square feet you will need: Master Nursery Gold Rush (8-10 cu. ft.): 4-5 bags
Iron Sulfate: 51bs
Master Nursery Rose and Flower Food: 10lbs
Gypsum or Gypsite (for clay soils): 25-501bs
Work the listed material into the top 4-6″ of your soil. Once the soil is properly prepared you are ready to plant. Planting early in the day is best. Remove the plant from it’s container, break the root all up gently, and set deep enough into the soil so that the roots are well covered and the plant is securely anchored. Water thoroughly and check frequently for the first few days until it has settled into it’s environment. If you cannot plant perennials right away, water them thoroughly and shelter them in the shade and out of the wind.
The following are a few tips to assure consistent success with your perennials.
Water deeply early in the morning once or twice per week. Most perennials prefer deep infrequent waterings.
Mulch: Mulching will cool the soil, eliminate weeds and reduce moisture loss. Use Master Nursery Shredded Redwood Bark.
Fertilize every six weeks throughout the growing season . Use Master Nursery Rose and Flower Food. Spread a light (1/2 inch) layer of Chicken Fertilizer over the flower bed in late fall.
Pinch any leggy growth and remove faded/spent flowers in order to promote new foliage and flower production .
Clean: Most perennials enter a dormant (resting) period at some point during the year, usually during winter. This is an ideal time to cut back, clean up and divide your perennials. Remember, these are though plants and can survive most anything