For your gardens to continue to bloom, a landscape management program that includes fertilization, proper watering, staking, pruning, mulching, weed prevention and insect control goes a long way towards supporting healthy ornamentals.
Takeaway: One of the most satisfying moments for any grower is nurturing flowering crops into producing abundant, vigorous blossoms, which then lead to better harvests.
7 Ways to Boost the Bloom in Your Grow Garden
Here are seven tips to help you achieve bountiful blooms below:
(1) Start with a Healthy Plant
The first stage of a plant’s life is about getting bigger and establishing a foundation to make flowers on.
Any issues with pests, the environment or plant nutrition that develop early in the growth stage should be identified and corrected prior to flowering.
During the vigorous growth of preadolescence, plants can recover more easily from damage.
A sickly plant tends to lack the ability to flower prolifically. In gardens where flowering is artificially initiated, delaying flowering until plants are healthy can increase the number of blooms.
(2) Make sure Plants get enough Light
Many plants will grow foliage in lower light conditions than they will flower well in.
Although increasing light has diminishing returns after a certain point, a properly lit plant will flower better than an under-lit one will.
(3) Maintain Optimal Grow-room Temperatures
For indoor gardens, make sure the temperatures don’t get too high or too low for the crop being grown, as either scenario can stall plant growth and reduce flower size.
A sharp spike in temperature can cause some fruit-bearing plants to drop their flowers, hindering the harvest.
(4) Fertilize Properly
Nitrogen is a necessary ingredient, but while insufficient quantities will hinder flowering, some plants, such as peppers, will grow lots of foliage but few flowers if too much nitrogen is present.
Phosphorus is important to flower development, but too much can induce stress even in flowering plants.
Consult the needs of the specific plant to determine appropriate nutrient levels.
(5) Induce flowering earlier for an earlier finish
For outdoor growers, if you cover short-day/fall harvest plants with an opaque sheet on a frame for part of the day to extend the dark periods, you can trigger initial flowering earlier than if the plant was left to its own devices.
Using this method, many plants that would otherwise be unsuitable for an area can be grown even with a short summer season.
This is especially useful in areas where fall frosts start early, as plants can be given enough time to mature before the frost arrives, with the added benefit of flowering while still receiving the strong summer sunlight.
(6) Prune some of the Blooms
By removing budding sites that will obviously underperform, the resources they would have used can be divided among the remaining flowers, improving them.
It is common to remove some of the flowers from the lowest branches to improve air circulation around the base of the central stem and to prevent the smallest flowers from sequestering growth potential.
(7) Plant more plants
Although it may seem like an obvious solution, it is often overlooked.
A second plant producing the same amount of blooms gives the same result as doubling the blooms on a single plant.
While this is heavily dependent on the specific resources available to the gardener, it is often the pimpliest method to improve production.
Here are the 7 ways to take care of your ornamental plants:
- Fertilizing– Just like you give your lawn fertilizer, you need to provide your plants with the appropriate fertilizers for strong growth. There are a variety of fertilizers on the market for you to choose from. You’ll want to not only consider cost, but also the nutrient content in relation to the needs of the plants you’re fertilizing.
- Watering– Take the same watering approach with most ornamentals as you would with your lawn. Water deeply, giving a good soaking weekly rather than shallow, infrequent watering. Watering in the morning will also help avoid evaporation so the water can penetrate the roots. Be cautious that some ornamentals are very drought tolerant and overwatering can be a concern. The amount of water will depend on the type of plant and the soil it’s planted in. Look to your plants for signs of dehydration. Any wilting or yellowing is a good indication your ornamentals need water.
- Stabilizing– Use stakes to support taller plants and protect them from severe summer thunderstorms that bring heavy winds. Without staking, tall annuals and perennials, like lilies, can droop to the soil after a heavy rain.
- Pruning– Maintain the shape of your ornamental plants and remove dead or diseased branches by pruning. Most plants can benefit from some summer thinning to help increase air circulation and encourage new growth.
- Mulching- If you haven’t freshened up your beds with a new layer of mulch in the past year, now is the time. Plants really benefit from the root insulation that mulch provides in the extreme summer heat. Mulch will also discourage weed growth and retain moisture in the soil for the plants.
- Weed Prevention– Keeping weeds out is another part of effectively caring for your ornamentals. Weeds can compete with plants for water and nutrients in the soil. Mulching is one approach towards weed prevention, but landscape fabric, ornamental bed treatments and hand pulling weeds are other effective options from stopping weeds from growing out of your ornamental beds.
- Disease and Pest Control– When implementing the above measures as part of your ornamental care regimen, you will encourage healthy plants to grow and diminish the chance of damage from pests or diseases. But it’s not a zero chance! Be alert to signs of damage like discoloration or holes in the foliage.
After all this hard work, don’t forget to reap the rewards of caring for your ornamentals. Enjoy the blooms or shade of your garden this summer or bring some freshly cut flowers indoors from your rose bushes or azaleas to brighten up your day!
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