I am the proverbial thrifty lazy gardener who “Works hard but works smart.” Installing perennial gardens in your landscape in your landscape is the only way to work smart. Why perennials? Thrifty Tip 1 – Perennial plants come back year after year.
Installing a Perennial Garden is pretty straight forward. First, pick a sunny site and prepare to do some hard work turning a generous amount of organic material into the soil. The idea is to mix the organic material into the soil to speed its decomposition. This will break up the Georgia clay, attracting earthworms who feed on the decomposing plant material. They will burrow into the soil and their nitrogen rich castings are an added bonus. Milkweed the favorite of the Monarch Butterfly thrives in sunny locations along with purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susan and zinnias. For your shady locations Hostas not only thrive in, but don’t mind our Georgia clay. Simply dig a hole, drop, stomp and go.
The next step is covering the beds with mulch. The function of mulch is to suppress weeds and in our area we have a choice of pine straw or dyed shredded hardwood. Thrifty Tip 2 -Leaves that you raked in the fall and weren’t able to discard make excellent mulch. A really enjoyable activity is thinning the beds every 2 -3 years. Thrifty Tip 3- Your divided plants can be moved to another location or shared with family, friends and your neighbors who will love you for them.
A Final Thrifty Tip – Heirloom tomatoes, milk weed, perennial wildflowers, shrubs, trees, peppers, day lilies, native plants and recycled windows and other used garden items will be sold at Annual Paulding County Master Garden Sale.
Everything offered is of excellent quality at awesome prices.
Rain or shine the sale is Saturday, April 23rd, 8am -1pm
Located at 530 W. Memorial Drive, Dallas, GA 30132.
The author of this article, Robbie Cheatham, is a Paulding County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer. As representatives of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Master Gardener Extension Volunteers are trained experts, who answer questions about home horticulture, sustainable landscaping, and environmentally friendly gardening practices using unbiased, research-based information from the University of Georgia. For more information contact the UGA Cooperative Extension Office at 770-443-7616, or visit www.ugaextension.com/paulding.