I am looking for preferrably an online resource that covers the care of
perennials and shrubs and such in terms of pruning and cutting back
following or prior to the grow season. I have a variety of plants and I am a
novice on the best care during the non-growing season so I'm looking for a
good resource to look up my plants. In absence of an online resource if
anyone can suggested PC based guides or books that may cover a variety of
plants and this care that would be great!
Many of the books, sites, and resources I've run into really don't go into
much details at all around the non-growing season care. I've paged through a
bunch that say "cut back and shape during dormant season" - great, but for
the novice, what does that mean and when is that for the particular plant! I
understand what it means in general, but what it specifically means for each
plant I am looking up is what I am after.
thanks for any help!
I assume that plants survived for millions of years without any intervention
from people cutting them back. Therefore, my approach to the issue is to
leave things alone as much as possible. I will clean out my perennial beds
in the spring when new growth starts to appear for housekeeping purposes.
The exception would be to remove dead leaves in late fall from plants that
tend to get fungal disease so spores aren't carried over to the next year.
The internet is a wealth of information. If I have specific questions on
specific plants, I do a google search.
Other than going online plant by plant, I've yet to find an internet
resource that has a very comprehensive selection of plants AND their
cultural and care requirements. OTOH, there are a quite a few excellent
books (remember them??) available that specifically address your concerns.
For perennials, look for The Well-Tended Perennial Garden, by Tracy
deSabato-Aust. It is very comprehensive, including about 400 or so commonly
grown perennials, and addresses issues like deadheading, cutting back,
winter protection and dividing and propagating.
For trees and shrubs, Dirr (Manual of Woody Plants) is an excellent resource
but I'd also recommend Pruning and Training by Christopher Brickell.
And there are countless books that address plants by specific genus and
provide extremely detailed info on their growth and care. You might need to
spend a bit of time at your local library :-))
FYI, a plant's dormancy period is when the plant is not in active growth.
For the majority, this occurs in winter when deciduous material loses its
leaves and perennials die back to the ground or for evergreens, when there
is no active top growth (root growth and development will typically continue
regardless of the season). There are plants that are summer dormant, but
these usually require minimal attention or input from the gardener.
pam - gardengal
I'll second pam. When trying to learn about something I have always
found a good book or two much better than any info online.
Being a novice myself I have found the book; Better Homes and Gardens
New Complete Guide To Gardening as a great resource. Give your local
library a vist. There's sure to be a wealth of information there.
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