Pumpkin Patch Festivities are Underway!!

After the summer we have had, I would not be surprised if many of you have been looking forward to fall.  We have been greeted with fabulous weather for the past few weeks which may last a while longer…I sure hope so!  If we can add in a few rainy days, it would be perfect.  It will be wonderful if we can have a lengthy fall to allow the trees to exhibit their gorgeous array of color.  Only time will tell….in the meantime Suburban Lawn & Garden offers a lot to keep you busy!

October is a BIG month at Suburban Lawn & Garden!  Our HUGE Tree and Shrub Sale  has begun (including Japanese Maples),

thirty thousand hardy chrysanthemums are flying out the doors, and (as if that wasn’t already enough) our Pumpkin Patch Festivities begin on October 1st!!  I really don’t know how we do it!  Whew!

For those who are not familiar with our Pumpkin Patch Festivities, it is geared toward the entire family.  We have popcorn for everyone, hayrides to the “pumpkin patch”and visits from Cowgirl Kate and Witch Hazel.  In addition, every child gets a free baby pumpkin! Check out our slide show of last year’s event!

That’s not all!  On Sunday, October 16th from noon to 3:00 p.m. the Kansas City MO Mounted Patrol will be at our Wornall location.  In 2003, a not-for-profit corporation was created to assist with funding of a full-time Mounted Patrol.  Within about 3 years, the Mounted Patrol Section was formed within the Special Operations Division of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.

Ten horses were donated to the unit and partnering with the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department, the horses are stabled in Swope Park.  The Mounted Patrol unit performs various duties from crowd control to community relations.  They are able to traverse over ground that vehicles are unable, making them invaluable in certain circumstances.  I hope you can bring the family out to visit with the officers and their horses, I am sure they will be happy to satisfy some of your curiosities!

More, you say? Well…OK!!  Cowgirl Kate will begin appearing at our stores beginning on October 8th.  Her full schedule is detailed within the events section of our Facebook page.  She will be entertaining us and creating fabulous balloon art for you to take with you.  The majority of her appearances will be at our Wornall location, but she will also be visiting our Roe store on Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 16th.

OK, ok….I know I have completely overwhelmed you with all of these wonderful events going on, but our festivities would not be complete without a visit from Witch Hazel!!  A special treat is in store for all of us on October 30th from noon to 4:00 p.m.  Come out and be “treated” to this fantastically wonderful character!

Cowgirl Kate has been entertaining audiences young and old in the Midwest region for over a decade. She specializes in creative Balloon Art Twisting. Cowgirl Kate’s performance is interspersed with impromptu comedy and vernacular phrases from times past. Cowgirl Kate is perfect for getting your party started with her energy and expertise!              ~ Cowgirl Kate

I hope you can come out and visit us during this event…we will look forward to seeing you!!  And as always:

 

The Garden that is Finished is Dead

The Great Divide – How To

Oh my…the weather is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!  I guess we are being rewarded for putting up with the horribly unbearable summer we have had.  Everyone seems to be excited to get outside and make everything beautiful for autumn.  At Suburban, the mums and many other bits of fall color are pouring in the doors (and flying back out).   We are also gearing up for our fall festivities which will include visits from Cowgirl Kate and Witch Hazel!  I hope you and your family will come out and see us, you will have a great time!

There are so many things that can be done in the yard at this time of year: aerating and seeding, laying sod, cleaning beds, trimming shrubs, planting bulbs (later), preparing tropicals to return indoors, installing new plants and cleaning and/or dividing perennials.  This is the best time to

plant new trees and shrubs.  They will have the entire fall and spring to settle in before the summer heat rolls back around.  For the same reason it is also the best time to divide perennials.  Not only that, you have a larger window to work with.  Hostas, Daylilies, Liriope and Iris are all perennials which benefit from being divided every few years.  Sedum should still be divided in the spring since it is just getting ready to bloom.  Liriope is easy to divide but you might wait until they are nearing the end of their bloom cycle.

Hostas can be divided in two ways.  I usually “shave off” sections that I wish to move elsewhere.  Using a sharp shovel, it is simply a matter of cutting a section of the plant away.  Usually it is best to try to retain the shape of the original plant.  The other method is to dig the entire plant and cut it into sections, each of which can be replanted.  Dividing Hostas will also insure that your plants will bloom the following year.  When disturbed in the spring, they will occasionally sulk and refuse to bloom during the initial year. The picture below depicts a hosta which I would consider in need of division.

If Daylilies get too crowded, they will begin to produce fewer blooms.  It is necessary to give them some elbow room every few years.  Enthusiasts of these plants insist that the best way to divide them is by placing to pitchforks/garden forks back to back through the center of the unearthed plant and then prying the roots/tubers apart.  This does less damage to the plant than cutting through with a shovel.  A clean division will help the plant establish easier and make it less open to diseases or pathogens in the soil.  When dividing your Daylilies, you will want to cut the foliage down to a manageable height, keeping in mind that the foliage is what nutrients to the roots.  Try to remove only what is necessary to keep the plants from flopping over onto the soil.  Green foliage that comes in direct and flat contact with the soil will invite slugs and other pests, rot and other problems.  Daylilies love sunlight and will bloom profusely if they have enough of it.  Be sure to find a location which will be easy to water in a time of drought, too.  While the drought will not kill them (generally), they will go dormant, turn brown and become very unsightly.  Consider spacing, as well.  A small clump of Daylilies will quickly take up quite a bit of space.  A bit of forethought will save you the work of moving them before you would have needed to.

This is also the ideal time to divide or plant Bearded Iris and others.  They are not the easiest plant to correctly install in the ground, but I hope to relay the important factors to you.  The first thing you will want to do is to cut the foliage down about half way (leave about 6-8 inches).  I cut mine at an angle with a point in the center, but it shouldn’t matter.

The next thing to think about is placement.  Bearded Iris are rhizomes which seem to grow “backwards” and this year’s rhizomes are finished blooming.  The offsets produced by this year’s rhizomes will bloom next year.  If you visualize the rhizome as a “foot”, it will be easier to place them taking into consideration the fact that they will spread “backwards”.

The new rhizomes (next year’s blooms) will appear near the heel.  The other important step is insuring that the top of the rhizome remains slightly above the soil level, exposed to the sun.  If planted beneath the surface, they will not perform well, probably won’t bloom and may even have weak foliage.

You may have to check on them periodically to make sure they haven’t fallen over.  If you have landscape fabric staples, they can be pinned into place.  Installing Iris properly will insure gorgeous blooms for years to come!

Above all, have fun in your gardening adventures and remember:

The Garden that is Finished is Dead

Ready for Mums?

Mums have been arriving here at Suburban Lawn & Garden for about a week now and they look great!  Many new varieties will be in the line-up this year and I can’t wait until they start blooming.

Whether you use them in pots or install them in your garden beds for years of enjoyment, they are definitely loaded with color at a time when very few other plants are.  They are reliable and smothered with blooms provided you keep them watered.

No matter where you plant your mums, it will be very important to

water them regularly or they will “deadhead” themselves to reduce their energy expenditure.  Keep in mind that a young mum has a very shallow root system and will dry out rather quickly.  For this same reason, those that you install in your garden beds will need a little extra mulch for their first winter.

Mums look great in pots, and will even share the space with some pansies or ornamental kale.  I can’t think of any other fall plant which will make such a bold statement.  If you want to jazz things a bit further, try some of the pot mums which are not hardy, but will add more interest to your potted arrangement.

How many of you install them in your garden beds?  Garden mums/hardy mums are actually quite hardy and will come back year after year.

There are a few varieties of hardy mums which will keep their compact appearance, but most will need to be given a “haircut” some time in June.  If you remove from 1/3 to 1/2 of the stem at this time, they will become much bushier and will bloom at the appropriate time.

Each year, new varieties are introduced and we make every effort to select those which will be the best performers, have the lengthiest bloom times and remain a nice shape all season long.

For a complete list of our anticipated mum arrivals (sorted by bloom time), please visit the notes section of our Facebook page!

Enjoy your fall color and as we know:

The Garden that is Finished is Dead