Not Too Late!
people feel like they missed the proper planting time and decide it's
worth bothering because they're late. When plants are well cared for,
they will easily last through the end of September. Why pass up on
beautiful patio for the rest of the summer just because you are running
a little bit late?
you still need plants, I'm still planting! (In fact, I'm still working
on the planters at my own house.) Contact me
guests admire your lovely container gardens, please refer them to Patio
Plants Unlimited. You can earn $25 off your planting
service for each referral.
check-list of yard work to do now:
flowers as they fade to promote continuous bloom.
not too late to sow seeds of fast-growing,
heat-loving annuals. If you have a spring- flowering bed of tulips or
which is now barren but get lots of sun, you can sow seeds of
cosmos, portulaca, zinnia and sunflower directly in the soil. Be sure
the soil moist while the seeds germinate
weeds but avoid using herbicide on hot
or windy days. The chemicals in many herbicides volatize at high
and in the sunlight so they should be applied in the early morning or
your roses. After the first flush of
flowers has started to fade, use a fertilizer labeled for roses - a
would read 5-10-5 on the label. Sprinkle the recommended amount on the
gently rake it in and then water thoroughly.
"We both work a lot and we travel a lot so
letting Patio Plants Unlimited do the "creating" for us is the perfect
solution. We don't have the time to go to the nursery, select
the plants, plant them and care for them - at least not
In the past, our plants in this dry climate just died from our neglect
or because we chose the wrong plants.
Stephanie's help and the self-watering and automatic
fertilizing system, we have colorful, healthy and beautiful
plants all summer long!"
Mike & Candace,
Soil in Raised Beds
last two newsletters have been on the subject of soils -
in early May it was an overview of Soil Science and a couple of weeks
explained soil-less potting soil. There is just one more topic I feel I
address: soil in the raised bed. Because our Colorado soils are such
which can be hard to amend, we often turn to container gardening and
with raised beds. Raised beds offer many benefits including the ability
import some good top soil.
Building a new
can be quite a project. The first step is to remove
existing turf grass (or other plants) and turn up the soil.
we are tempted to skip this step - "free" advice I read on the internet
suggests placing layers of newspapers or cardboard over the grass then
new topsoil on top and you're ready to start your new garden in less
is not good advice
in our area! Although the
newspaper or cardboard will kill the grass (a good herbicide-free
method) and it will decompose relatively quickly, this method creates a
simplify... when you
were a kid
playing in the sandbox, you knew wet sand
makes better sand castles! Remember how when you would pour a bucket of water on the sand,
sand absorbs the water in just a few minutes - but the sand in the
dried out almost everyday. It was also fun to play in the mud puddles!
here, a good mud puddle would be wet and muddy for days. Unlike the
you pour a bucket of water on the ground, the water sits on top and
absorb down quickly.
explains how water
and soil structure interact. The
sand has large pore space so water
moves through and out of the sand quickly. The native soil in our area
lot of clay which has very small pore space - water moves through it
When you build a raised bed by layering up
the cardboard or newspaper without turning the existing soil, you've
created a soil texture interface -
a line in the
soil where there is an abrupt change in the soil pore space. So
the water will move down through the top soil layer
(primarily large pore space) then when it gets to the undisturbed clay
compacted soil layer
(primarily small pore space) the water accumulates in the soil just
interface. This is called a perched
water table and it drowns your plants.
seems like more work,
but when constructing a raised bed
it is important to turn the existing soil 8-10 inches deep. Then add a
your new topsoil, turn the soil under again and then build up your new
This helps avoid the perched water table problem and gives your plants
deep soil for growth.
you missed the previous two newsletters on the subject of
soil, they’re available on my
you'd like to read
more about soil science, check out this GardenNotes publication from the
CSU Extension Office.
am often asked if it wouldn't be better to just get hanging
baskets from the local nursery or discount store. My response
that the full-grown baskets will not last as long as the baskets I
plant. To prove my point, this year follow along with the pictures of
my unscientific experiment:
As you can see in the picture below, the baskets
side-by-side so there will be no difference in sun or wind exposure.
The baskets are exactly the same - 12" diameter plastic pots. Both are
plugged into my drip irrigation and I am trying to treat
them equally. My basket is filled with the some color
scheme: red, white and purple. The "big-box store" plant
is on the left
and the Patio Plants Unlimited basket is on the right.
Right now, both
baskets are pretty - the plants in the big-box store
the left are longer and they are still blooming - although it's only
red and white - no purple. Also, the
leaves are turning yellow. The plants in my basket on the right have
more flowers and are greener even if they are shorter.
I'm quite proud of
my basket it performing, but I'll let you be the
judge of which is
better this month.
If you have
any questions about your plants or irrigation system, please contact me.
I sincerely hope your patio is your own special haven.
tel: (970) 988-3808