What's Coming Up #233: Peony cuts, mildew, dividing, violets, self sowing flowers

Why are violets so tough to beat?!

Why are violets so tough to beat?!

What's Coming Up garden news

Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila help you grow

Issue #233, September 24, 2020

Hardy hibiscus is big. But it can cover lots more ground if divided smaller.

Hardy hibiscus is big. But it can cover lots more ground if divided smaller.

Clean up, cut down, join in

Cool nights cue plants to prep for fall. Ma Nature could wipe a frost across the area any time. So plants “know” their time is up. You can see it in trees beginning to turn from green to orange, red or yellow. So stop worrying if it’s okay to deal with those peonies, that pumpkin vine, the daylilies and hostas: It’s okay to cut back, dig up, divide. Our pointers in this regard come from several departments:

It's a Stumper

How come people are so reluctant to cut peonies down? All the way down. Why you should, plus encouraging “how” photos.

Green Thumbs Up, for...

...brown cut down

While you’re at it, cut out plants that are going brown. It is not too early. Brown is distracting. The plants don’t mind.

Green Thumbs Down to...

...this banner year for mildew.

Clean up the gray areas. Mildew will always be with us but if you act now you can put some distance between it and the most susceptible plants.

Expert Afield

Divide to cover ground faster

Visit the edge of the road (as far as we get away from home, lately!) to see why we care that the more you divide the faster the re-set plants grow. We even do the math for you.

Mentors’ Magic

Violet Leverage

Use fall crocus’ (Colchicum autumnale) bloomtime as a cue to tackle the cool season weeds. Help for besting pesky violets plus a nudge to try some new bulbs and bulb-planting strategy.

Tip Cuttings

Look ahead to seed the spring.

Magic grows for those who sow flower seed in fall. Look at how many flowering species you can grow this way and gather a few tips to remember what will pop up, where. As always and especially for topics in our Tip Cutting department, we hope you will join us afterward to expand this topic at the Forum.

Many thanks for your support and patience

You are so wonderful! Your donations gave us the wherewithal to upgrade both website and Forum. (Upgrades we announced “done” last month… right before we recognized a few twists yet to straighten. But no worries, the website and Forum are operational even as we continue the work.)

Website revision has taken a great deal of time. We’ve had to temporarily switch from weekly- to monthly newsletters. However, we remain committed to bringing you the best, most practical advice on our website, in these newsletters and in our Weekend Walkabout webinars.

Please, when our words and pictures help you save a plant or work more efficiently, consider donating the value of the rescued plant or hours saved to GardenAtoZ.org. Every dollar joins our own to support this labor of love. You can help with a check payable to GardenAtoZ (mail it to Janet & Steven at 6648 Ellinwood Dr., White Lake, MI 48383) or a contribution via Paypal (email to Steve@GardenAtoZ.com from your Paypal account).