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Botanical Interests - seeds and garden tools CLICK HERE
Epic Gardening - Birdies raised garden beds & seed starting trays CLICK HERE
Seed starting mix - CLICK HERE
Seed starting fertilizer - CLICK HERE
Flower seedling boost fertilizer - we use when seedlings are 3-4 weeks old - CLICK HERE
Cinnamon - we mix in our seed starting mix as a natural fungicide - CLICK HERE
Neem oil - we spray our seed trays with a mix of neem oil, dish soap and water - CLICK HERE
Spray bottles - we use these to spray our trays with neem oil mixture - CLICK HERE
Fungus gnat traps - we make little flags to control fungus gnats - CLICK HERE
Wheat seeds for chicken fodder - CLICK HERE
Weed barrier landscape fabric - 6 foot for burning holes - CLICK HERE
Weed barrier landscape fabric - 3 foot for dahlia field walkways - CLICK HERE
Landscape staples - standard we use in most areas to hold fabric down - CLICK HERE
Landscape stables - long for anchoring corners and high wind areas - CLICK HERE
Worm castings - we use at time of planting in the field - CLICK HERE
Local option for worm castings - Central Iowa Organic Fertilizer - CLICK HERE
Bloom Booster fertilizer - we use when flowers start to bud up - CLICK HERE
Deer & Rabbit Repellant - handy dandy for when flowers are small - CLICK HERE
Flower snips for harvesting - these are our favorite! - CLICK HERE
1. Keep your bouquet in cool fresh water with a packet of flower food. If you don't have flower food, a pinch of sugar also works.
2. Keep out of direct sunlight and warm locations such as near a heat vent or in front of a warm sunny window.
3. Re-cut about a 1/2 inch off the stems at a 45 degree angle and replace the water every 2-3 days.
4. Trim foliage so it's not in the water. Doing this will decrease bacteria in the water.
5. Swish the vase with hot water to help kill bacteria between water changes.
6. Some flowers don't last as long as others so remove any wilting blooms.
7. Fruit and flowers do not mix, so it's a good idea to keep your bouquet arrangement away from a large bowl of produce.
8. Talk to your flowers. Science suggests plants interact with wind & sound vibrations, although there isn't a lot of research in this area. But...we love flowers, so why not?
1. Planting time. Plant dahlia tubers when the ground has warmed up in the spring. Here in Iowa, we plant our tubers in mid to late May. Plant tubers about 3-4 inches deep, laying the tuber on its side with the "eye" facing up. Cover with soil.
2. Watering needs. Do NOT water your tubers until you start to see green growth. Once you see green, then water your dahlias similarly to other flowers. Regular water helps them grow, but they don't like wet feet. So be sure your planting area has good drainage. We also use a low nitrogen fertilizer a couple times throughout the growing season.
3. Pinch and deadhead. Once dahlias grow to about a foot tall, then pinch them just above a leaf node, leaving at least 2 sets of leaves on the plant. By pinching, you are encouraging the dahlia to branch off, giving you more flowers. Once dahlias start to bloom, be sure to keep them deadheaded. If you do this, you'll see abundant blooms from late summer through frost.
1. Be sure you're buying plants from a reputable seller to ensure they are healthy from the start.
2. Plant daylilies within a few days of purchase to ensure they have the opportunity to establish a healthy root system in your garden.
3. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Daylilies won't thrive in wet areas or shady areas.
4. Daylilies are tolerant of most types of soil (clay, sandy, etc) but would benefit from mixing in some compost or garden soil at the time of planting.
5. Work the soil into a good loose condition. Dig a hole approximately 1 foot deep and wider around than the root mass. Make a small mound in the center of the hole.
6. Set the daylily into the hole with the roots spread out around the center mound. Be sure the crown is about 1 inch below the soil surface.
7. Refill the hole with loose dirt and press gently but firmly around the roots. Add mulch as desired.
8. Daylilies are pretty tough plants and don't need a lot of water to thrive. However, you'll want to water thoroughly after planting.
9. Water newly planted daylilies every 3-5 days until they are established (more frequently if weather is hot and sunny). After a few weeks, daylilies shouldn't need much supplemental watering except during hot, dry months.
10. Space plants 18 inches apart and consider splitting or "dividing" daylilies after 2-3 years so they don't get too large and overcrowd the garden.
1. The best time to divide daylilies is either early spring, when foliage is 6 to 12 inches above the ground, or late fall after they are done blooming.
2. If splitting in the fall, trim off the daylily foliage, leaving about 6 inches of foliage above the ground.
3. Use a garden fork to dig approximately 6-10 inches around the base of the plant, gently wiggling the daylily rootball to release it from the ground completely.
4. Shake loose any excess dirt from the rootball. Sometimes simply doing this will help you determine where to make your divisions as clumps will fall apart.
5. Separate the clump with the garden fork or shovel to divide the daylily into the size you need. Keep divisions larger or smaller to create more plants for your garden.
Step #1 - Label, then cut back your plants. It's important to label your dahlia varieties while they are still blooming. We use bright colored flagging tape wrapped around the base of the plant, and marked with a sharpie. Sometime around mid-October or after your first frost, cut back the dahlia plants to about 6 inches tall, making sure the tuber variety tape stays in place. Allow the plants to "rest" for a week or two.
Step #2 - Dig up the tubers. Using a pitch fork, carefully loosen the soil around the dahlia plant, making sure to go wide enough around the plant so you won't damage the tubers beneath the soil. Rock the pitch fork back and forth until the dahlia plant can be lifted out of the ground with the tuber clump attached. Shake off excess dirt.
Step #3 - Storing tubers. Tubers can be stored clean, or with the dirt on. If you are planning to divide the tubers, you'll want to clean and dry the tubers. For storage, we use peat moss or wood shavings and store the tubers stacked in bulb crates. Tubers like to be stored at 40-45 degrees with humidity levels between 75-85%. Also, its best to keep air flow going so we have a fan running in our storage room. Check tubers every 3-4 weeks, discarding any rotting tubers.
Home gardeners usually plant in clumps of 10-15 bulbs per circular clump, about 1-2 inches apart. Here on our Iowa flower farm, we plant in 3-foot wide trenches and 20-foot rows.
Tulips do best in full sun, and prefer well-drained soil. If the soil is soggy, bulbs can rot or become diseased.
Dig down into the soil about 6 inches deep. Bulbs should be planted about 3 times deeper than they are tall. So, depending on variety and bulb size, you may need to dig a little deeper.
After you have your planting space dug out, then it's time to give those tulip bulbs a little boost to ensure a good healthy plant in the spring. We add a generous dusting of organic bulb fertilizer and some compost as well.
Be sure to plant tulips with the pointy side up. Home gardeners, plant about 1-2 inches apart. On our flower farm, we plant very tight spacing, like eggs in a carton, but not touching. If you're keeping track of varieties, add a planting label stake at this time.
Carefully pull the soil back into the hole, covering the tulip bulbs, taking care not to knock them sideways or upside down. After the soil is evenly distributed on top of the bulbs, we recommend adding 2-3 inches of compost on top of the soil to add extra nutrients to the mix.
We water in our newly planted bulbs lightly so everything gets settled in. You should not have to water your bulbs throughout the winter as Mother Nature provides enough moisture to carry the bulbs through spring. If springtime weather is very sunny and dry, we water our tulip beds periodically to help the tulips grow strong and tall.