June garden musings

This is my first blog post.  I'll try to write ideas and information that will be of interest and use to my readers.  I hope to have a bit of fun too.

I'd like to discuss what to do about the dahlias at this point in the summer.  By the third week of June, all of the tubers should have now poked out of the ground.   If a shoot cannot be seen, gently move the dirt with your fingers to see if the tuber is still there or if it has, unfortunately, rotted for one reason or another.  If you discover that the tuber is not viable, pull it out and replace it with a new one, if available, or plant something else in the spot.

For dahlia plants that are healthy and growing, see if there is a center bud beginning to form.  Depending upon the type of dahlia, this can occur at 7- 12 inches.

Next, after the center bud is located, snap off this bud with your fingers.

This will encourage the plant to branch and have multiple stems, thus producing more flowers.  In the middle of this photo, hopefully you can see that two buds have formed where the center one had been snapped off.

Now is also the time that I fertilize the dahlias.  I use 2 parts bone meal, usually the Espoma brand, with 1 part Sulfate of Potash Magnesia, also manufactured by Espoma.  I mix the two ingredients in a bucket and throw a handful around the base of each plant.  With my hands, I scuff up the soil to integrate the mixture with surrounding earth.

Mid June, I clear away flowers and rose branches that have already bloomed.  I have nigella volunteers that overtake the stone paths and have to be ruthlessly pulled out.

The poppies will be next to go.

Beautiful Charles de Mills heirloom roses earlier in the month.

I was able to use them in some new shino pots.

And the roses arrived with the peonies, which were especially fine this year in a scallop bud vase.

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