Clematis - royalty. (Stock photo)

Clematis - royalty. (Stock photo)

Notes on the busiest time of the year in the garden

Eric’s garden is flourishing as he continues to plant, divide and conquer

For many of us, planting the garden is the busiest time of the year.

Along with that, we may ask what to do with the top of spring bulbs. To snip off the dead flowers are one thing, but one may ask, “What do I do with the leaves?”

Please do not cut them down until completely weathered. If you want to plant annuals, and you feel the foliage becomes unsightly, you can choose to dig the bulbs up and transfer them to a shady spot out of the way, and it is called to “hill them in,” it is done by digging a shallow trench, position the bulbs close together and cover the bulbs with soil and make up small sticks indicating what is there.

When the top has faded, dig the bulbs up and store them in a cool spot until planting time in the fall. On that note, daffodils bulbs multiply, tulips get smaller. It is essential to dig your bulbs up every three years to divide them to prevent crowding.

LAST WEEK: An early start to strawberry season and some advice on lawn equipment

With great sadness, I read in the paper about gardeners who had bought cow manure from a farmer, and after applying it in the garden, everything died. If you are purchasing manure from a farm, perhaps you will be wise to test it first before applying it to your garden. I

t can be done using a large flower pot to plant something and add some manure to watch the outcome.

My dahlias started in the sunroom, have set leaves, and grow quite rapidly; perhaps they enjoy their environment because I feed them the water from my aquariums when doing the water changes.

My climbing roses, which I thought I lost last winter, are also sending a lot of growth. I will be enjoying the flowers just outside my bedroom window.

MORE GARDENER’S CORNER: Using pesticides is safe as long as you do it right

Some of my clematis needed to be cut back as they had become quite woody. It has taken three weeks before sending outgrowth. One especially had set out a lot of root growth, so I will divide this one and plant its relative in a selected spot.

All my clematis are in full bloom and climbing along a wire attached with a small amount of chicken wire leading to another post.

My bleeding heart (in the garden) has taken off and makes an excellent show to enjoy from the living room window. I planted the bush some years ago under the shade of the maple tree.

I’m debating planting the kale and cauliflowers tomorrow. I gave them some liquid fertilizer a week ago; it has helped them turned dark green and upright.

The fruit trees I planted several years ago have started sending small shoots up ten feet from the trees. I believe they tell me we need more room for our roots; I will add more composted grass clippings under the drip line.

If you have questions or suggestions for topics, please email me at

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