Rejuvenating conifer hedges

 Thuja and yew hedges. The rejuvenation method, as described above, is not suitable for conifers, since they have very few dormant buds. Thujas and yews are an exception, since they respond well to sever cutting back. Old plants should be reduced by half, and lateral branches should be shortened by half or a third, so as to shape the hedge into a sloping form. Dead branches should be removed. The best time to rejuvenate conifers is summer, from the beginning of June to midsummer. You could also prune in the second half of summer to early winter, however, this period is less favorable. The rejuvenated plants should be looked after, fertilized, and watered in a prolonged dry spell.

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The great divide

Spring is the perfect time to divide and plant herbaceous perennials. After 2-5 years clumps of most perennials become overcrowded and their vigour deteriorates. As a result plants produce fewer flowers, and loose some of their ornamental value. As a general rule, spring is the best time to divide and plant summer- and autumn-flowering plants (starting with mid-June), and ornamental grasses (miscanthus, reed grass, feather grass).

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Get planting tulips in October

Most bulbs are planted in autumn to flower next spring.  Usually tulips are planted in early October, when soil temperature at the depth of 10-12 cm drops to +10C. If autumn is warm, tulips can be planted throughout October, even as late as early November. Experienced growers maintain that one can plant tulips even in midwinter, as long as the ground is not frozen over. Bear in mind that mulching with a 25cm layer of sawdust, peat or compost is absolutely necessary in such case. Bulbs root within three weeks – this is how long it should take before the ground completely freezes over. If planted too early, bulbs will break into growth too soon.

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Growing and propagating delphiniums

Seedlings start flowering same year after sowing, in their fourth month. The growth of delphiniums halts, when seeds ripen, so inflorescences are best removed after the flowering is over. Delphiniums may flower repeatedly in autumn, if the spent blooms have been removed. Bear in mind that this wears the plant down, as it does not have time to set new buds, which may result in less than spectacular flowering next year.

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