Tips, Techniques & Growing Inspiration

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Seminars at The Maine Flower Show

The Maine Flower Show will be bursting with colorful display gardens for you to feast your eyes on, inspiring garden enthusiasts from near and far to plant something. But did you know? In addition to the beautiful display gardens, top horticultural experts will be giving free seminars on a variety of gardening topics. No advance sign up required – once you are at the show you can simply walk into a seminar until it is full! Check the complete schedule here, and read on for a small sampling of topics…

Maine Flower Show seminar schedule
Click to view complete schedule

Mainely Ticks

Bob Maurais from Mainely Ticks will talk about deer ticks. Did you know that 75% of Lyme disease cases are contracted within 100 feet of the home? Join Bob for a timely discussion on how to better protect your family and pets from tick-borne diseases. Low-cost personal protection strategies, as well as landscape modifications will be discussed. Free, full-color tick identification cards will be given out at this seminar. You can also visit the Mainely Ticks website for more information.

Garden Club Federation of Maine

Suzanne Bushnell, president of the Garden Club Federation of Maine, will highlight the history of federated garden clubs in Maine. She’ll also show how their 2100+ members partner with local organizations to beautify communities educate the public on important environmental and conservation issues.

Resilient Seeds in a Changing Climate

Petra Page-Mann’s talk is called “Resilient Seeds in a Changing Climate.” Petra says: “We’ve lost over 80% of our agricultural genetic diversity in the last century and thriving in our changing climate demands diversity more than ever.” Come and learn about the most important seeds you can save for your own resilient garden. You can also find valuable information on her website, Fruition Seeds.

Barth Day Lilies

Maine Flower Show Tickets

Jeff O’Donal will lead a discussion on the Barth Daylily, considered the longest continual hybrid daylily program in America. Dr. Joseph Barth was a pioneer hybridizer of tetraploid daylilies. His breeding lines have a high level of quality, producing daylilies known for their garden vigor, hardiness and beauty. Today, Dr.  Barth’s son, Nick, and his wife, Sandra, are carrying on his legacy of exceptional daylilies, working with the many fine remnants in his daylily garden to develop northern-bred, high performing daylilies. Jeff will look at resulting daylily varieties, introduce the very latest gems and show a collection of seedlings still being evaluated for possible introduction. He will also describe how O’Donal’s Nursery stepped in to save the Barth Daylily program when Fieldview Farm in Dresden decided to discontinue it in 2010.

So let’s dig into design, get our hands dirty, and learn about sustainable practices! You will discover new ways to transform your own space into an oasis bursting with life and color. Gardening enthusiasts wait for this opportunity all year long. Our seminars kick off just in time to initiate the growing season. Check out the complete schedule here, and plan to attend a talk that interests you!

 

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Lemon Queen Sunflowers - Helianthus annuus

Annual

 

Short Description

Beautiful butter yellow flowers blossom mid-summer to frost! Typically grow to more than 5 ft. tall. Expect 70 days to flower.

Growing Guidelines

  1. Around the last frost date, sow seeds directly into the soil.
  2. Plant seeds 1" deep and 6" apart.
  3. Water well after planting.
  4. Apply a 3"-4" layer of mulch to conserve water and keep down weeds.
  5. Thin seedlings to 1 ft. apart to allow 2 to 3 ft. between plants.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun. Sunflowers are drought-resistant, but they'll grow better if you water regularly from the time the flowers begin to develop until they're mature. Thriving in most soils, these flowers will become massive if given ample fertility, space and water. Harvest blossoms for continued flowering.

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Calendula Mix-Calendula officinalis

 

Short Description

Fruition has hand-selected this variety to have a brilliant diversity of colors with dozens of gorgeous, petals on each blossom.

Growing Guidelines

Direct sow (recommended)

  1. After the last frost, sow directly outside in the garden.
  2. Plant seed 24 to 36 inches apart in all directions.

Transplant method

  1. A cool-season plant, calendula can be started indoors in flats, under grow lights 6-8 weeks before the last frost for early season flowering.
  2. Seeds germinate in 5-15 days.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun to partial shade. Easy to grow and remarkably drought tolerant, calendula also thrives in containers and will readily naturalize when let go to seed.

Transplanting Tips

  1. Purchase a good seed starting soil like Espoma Organic seed starting mix or Coast of Maine.
  2. Use a small greenhouse tray(tray with a clear plastic dome) to germinate your seeds.
  3. When it's time to transplant into the garden, use a fertilizer like Espoma Flower-tone or Espoma Plant-tone.

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Purple Queen Anne's Lace

"Dara" Daucus carota

 

Short Description

Gorgeously laced 3-5" umbels in shades of burgundy, lilac, mauve & white on long, strong stems perfect for cutting, adored by pollinators. Related to our native carrot, Queen Anne's Lace.

Growing Guidelines

Direct sow (recommended)

  1. In early spring, after late frost, sow seeds directly in soil.
  2. Plant 1 seed 1/8" deep and 2" apart.
  3. Expect 2 weeks for germination.
  4. When seedlings are 2-3" tall, thin to 1 plant every 9-12".
  5. Support may be needed if fertility is high or if your garden is windy.

Transplant method

  1. Chill seed at 40 F 1-2 weeks prior to sowing 1/8" deep, 2 seeds per cell 4-5 weeks before planting out.
  2. Expect germination in 1-2 weeks.
  3. When first leaves appear, transplant into larger containers.
  4. Harden off & transplant with 9-12" between plants after last frost.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun. Expect 65-75 days to maturity. Dara has an exceptionally long vase life; harvest when 80% of an umbel's flowers are open & no pollen has shed. Enjoy 7-15 heads per plant on swaying 35-50" stalks.

Transplanting Tips

  1. Purchase a good seed starting soil like Espoma Organic seed starting mix or Coast of Maine.
  2. Use a small greenhouse tray(tray with a clear plastic dome) to germinate your seeds.
  3. When it's time to transplant into the garden, use a fertilizer like Espoma Flower-tone or Espoma Plant-tone.
Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Marigolds

Annual

Care and Feeding

Transplant Only: Sow 4 weeks before last frost shallowly, 2 seeds per cell and thin to 1, keeping soil surface moist until emergence. Transplant to larger containers when true leaves appear. Harden off and transplant outside when the danger of frost has passed with 12" between plants. Deadhead for blossoms all season.

  • Sowing Date: Indoors before last frost
  • Seed Depth: 1/4 inch
  • Days to Germination: 4-7 days at 75-80°F
  • Days to Maturity: 60
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 12 inches
  • Height: 12 inches

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Organic Mexican Sunflower (Torch Tithonia)

Annual

Care and Feeding
Direct Seed (recommended): After final frost, sow every 8" and thin to one every ~2'. Light required to germ, so barely cover seed. Full sun is best. Any (even poor) soil is suitable. Harvest flowers when 90% open for bouquets.

Transplant: Sow indoors 2-3 weeks before last frost, transplanting after frost with spacing below.
 
  • Sowing Date: After frost; Late May- early June
  • Seed Depth: 1/2 inch
  • Days to Germination: 7-14 days
  • Days to Maturity: 85
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 2 feet
  • Height: 5-7 feet

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Cosmos

Annual

Care and Feeding

Direct Seed (recommended): After last frost, shallowly sow 4 seeds/foot & thin to 1/foot when first true leaves appear. Wider spacing = thicker stronger stems.

Bouquets: harvest when petals first open. Deadhead for blooms all season.

Transplant: Shallowly sow 4 weeks before transplanting after last frost at below spacing. Transplant your cosmos for earlier blooms and more full-size plants per pack; direct sow for blooms throughout the season and simplicity of sowing.

  • Sowing Date: After frost, late May to early June 
  • Seed Depth: 1/4 inch
  • Days to Germination: 7-10
  • Days to Maturity: 65-70
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 18-24 inches
  • Height: 3-4 feet

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.