Sunday, July 05, 2015

Great Hosta Year!

 Sunday, July 5, 2015

55.2 degrees and foggy at the flower farm. Almost 8 AM. Gail just arrived for the day. Even though it rained last night, I have the sprinklers going on the hostas. They look wonderful this year because of the temperature and the almost constant rain. The slug and snail population is not as bad as I thought it would be but the thinner leaved hostas and those with white or cream edges are getting some leaf marks now. Slug/snail control is something you have to think about in the early spring and by now it's too late to take action because the hostas are too big to address the problem. Reality.

 If you get a chance in the next couple weeks, come visit us. We are located on Route 2 just a half mile west of Marshfield village. The hostas are exceptional because of their age and because water is the best fertilizer--- and we sure have received enough rain this season. 

 Last weekend we held "Walk & Talks" in the hosta garden and we will do the same again this coming Saturday and Sunday, July 11 & 12 at 1 PM. These are informal "walk the gardens" tours followed by half an hour of instruction on how to plant and care for hostas. I explain how to divide, site and plant hostas and share some hosta resources I know.  It seems to be well received information and the number of questions asked seems to confirm the growing interest in hostas in Vermont and other eastern states.

 The benefit of visiting a hosta display garden is that it adds reality to the hostas you consider buying that you see growing in pots. Some folks sell small tissue culture plants in 3" pots. Some sell everything in 4.5" pots, we use number 400 and 600 pots (4 and 6 quarts) and have limited pots in the 15 gallon range for instant gratification gardeners.  The truth is that a potted plant may give you an idea of leaf shape, color, texture but it leaves eventual plant size to your guess. Most gardeners prefer to plant a hosta and leave it to develop to maturity but planting the wrong plant can cause future work. I always mention the customer who was convinced a Sum and Substance would work well by the back door. I protested but the purchase was made and years later I didn't hear a "you told me so." but I did hear a complaint about how big it got and how crowded the entry became. I did not volunteer to come move it!

So if you get a chance, come visit us, ask questions, walk the gardens or come on the 11th or 12th for a talk and tour. We never know who will show for the tour but we can guarantee you will learn something about hosta you may not have heard before. Give it a try!

Writing from the office of the flower farm where I can see clearing sky and bright sun from the east. Traffic is building on Route 2 and it should be a great day here. Come visit!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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Always here to help you grow your green thumb!