HOA Newsletter – July

Lessons from a Remarkable Garden by Jill Johnson, VCE Loudoun County Master Gardener From spotting unusual plant combinations to ideas for creating garden rooms, there’s nothing like a visit to Blandy Arboretum in Boyce, VA or the Loudoun County Master Gardeners’ Demo Garden in Leesburg. I recently visited a 20 year-old one acre garden in […]

HOA Newsletter – June

If You Love Roses, You Should Know About Rose Rosette By Nancy Caldwell, Loudoun County VCE Master Gardener Roses add undeniable beauty and interest to the garden. And the newer varieties promise disease resistance and long bloom times. Sadly, disease resistance does not mean disease free. Even the popular Knock-Out roses are susceptible to a […]

HOA Newsletter – May

Our Top Ten Things to Do for Your Garden in May By Jill Johnson, Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener # 1. Hold off on putting in tender perennials until just past Mother’s Day, because Loudoun’s last frost date is May 15. # 2. Don’t plant invasive English ivy. If English ivy is already climbing your […]

HOA Newsletter – April

It’s Spring! by Jill Johnson, Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener, Loudoun County Spring cleanup continues this month but only when the ground is not soggy.  Carefully remove matted leaves that are covering up spring bulbs and ephemerals and cut back ornamental grasses, sedum and other perennials whose skeletons were left standing for winter interest.  As […]

HOA Newsletter – March

March – the Month to Get Gardening! By Jill Johnson, VCE Loudoun County Master Gardener Daffodils and crocus are coming up and March looks promising even though the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Saint Patrick’s Day on the 17th is a traditional date to plant peas but last year on that date we had one of […]

HOA Newsletter – February

28 Days of Grey By Jill Johnson, Loudoun County VCE Master Gardener February is not this Loudoun County gardener’s fa­vorite month because of the interminable 28 (or even worse, 29) days of unrelenting gray and cold. On a posi­tive note though, every day is getting a tiny bit longer bringing welcome light as the earth […]

Tips for January – the month to plan

Flowers Check your mulch for winter protection Plan additions or changes while you can see your “bare” beds Garden Order seed / plant catalogs Plot your garden on paper and remember to rotate crops Lawn Avoid walking on frozen lawns to prevent winter damage Trees/Shrubs Gently brush snow from trees and shrubs to prevent damage […]

Tips for February – the month to wait

Flowers Check stored bulbs, corms, and tubers – discard any that are soft or diseased Garden Order seeds Cut-back raspberries Lawn Avoid walking on frozen lawns to prevent winter damage Trees/Shrubs Gently brush snow from trees and shrubs to prevent damage De-icing salt is harmful, protect your trees and shrubs   Take advantage of occasional […]

Tips for March – the month that begins the gardening season

Flowers Fertilize bulbs after blooming with balanced fertilizer or a mixture of bonemeal and dehydrated cow manure Fertilize perennials as they start to grow; especially heavy feeders like astilbes, daylilies and peonies with 5-10-5 organic fertilizer or aged manure Divide perennials as needed Cut-back grasses, coneflowers, sedum heads, liriope, evergreen ferns, and other perennials Prune […]

Tips for April – the fluctuating weather month

Flowers Remember that it is still too early to plant non-hardy flowers (last chance of frost is mid-May) Direct sow hardy annuals, biennials, and perennials (larkspur, annual poppies, and sweet peas) Provide supports for peonies and other perennials that need staking Divide and/or transplant perennials; train climbers onto trellises Prune roses to buds that point […]

Tips for May – the first spring planting month

Flowers Direct sow annuals, biennials, and perennials after mid-May – last chance of frost Transplant seedlings after hardening Plant tender summer blooming bulbs (begonias, caladiums, cannas, dahlias, and gladiolas) Plant containers and hanging baskets Mix flowers and herbs so pests aren’t attracted to one location Deadhead spent flowers on bulbs – prune foliage AFTER turns […]

Tips for June – the fast growth month

Flowers Deadhead annuals and perennials to encourage rebloom Watch for Japanese beetles and pick them off into soapy water in the early morning before they wake up Check for signs of disease or insect damage and treat accordingly Water container plants frequently as they dry out faster Continue to fertilize with manure tea, fish emulsion, […]