Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Planting Hostas

 June 9, 2015

59 degrees and pouring rain here at the flower farm. May and early June always bring us rain and here at the farm we always watch the Winooski River with caution as it rises and falls, rises and falls, first with spring runoffs and then with rains such as this. A week ago when I was hiking in Maine, Gail had Steve fertilize everything and then when I returned I did the hosta display garden myself. Gail is working on the potted hostas and she is about half way through getting them rearranged and fertilized for the start of the busy season. Things are looking great.

 Just prior to the floods in 2011 I had the hosta garden walkways mulched in stay mat. That's crushed granite which is abundant in this part of Vermont. The walks looked great and walking even for older folks was quite easy. Michelle spent a week mulching all the hostas and although they were small at the time, they looked super. The floods ruined that in sort order and it was on a morning that looked just like this morning that I came to work to find 10 feet of water on the fields. Some plants were lost but today you would not know that as the hostas are reaching maturity and the weather has been perfect for them.
 This morning I have a little correspondence to catch up on and then I will be out planting hostas. It's a perfect day. I dig oversized holes, fill the bottom 6" with old maple leaves and then mix the soil with manure and compost, some commercial fertilizer and then I plant the hostas. Hostas in pots need to have the bottom few inches of soil loosed and the roots spread out so they "catch" quickly to the new soil. Once planted I water well with Epsom salt in a ratio of 2 cups to 5 gallons of water. I pour half a bucket on each plant. This is magnesium sulfate and it stimulates root growth which is very important for subsequent growth.

As the hostas start to grow, I pick off any leaves that may have been injured in the process and I continue to water as needed. Water is truly the best fertilizer for hosta and it really does encourage growth in all directions.

If you have not planted hostas before or have doubt about doing it, stop by and I'll give a demo. On any given day there are usually potted hostas at the entrance to the display garden waiting to be planted. We are always here to help you grow your green thumb too! Come visit!

Writing from a very wet, foggy, rainy flower farm this morning. Stop by for a visit. I am probably working in the office until the rain slows some.

Best gardening wishes!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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