Tip # 11b. Mixing a little sand and horticultural charcoal into the soil mixture also helps drainage and keeps the soil fresh.
Tip # 12. When planting bulbs outside, they should generally be planted at a depth of two and one-half times their diameter. Bulbs planted too deep or too shallow will not perform as well.
Flower Growing Tip # 13. Make sure bulbs and plants are not crowded when planted the roots need room to grow if the plant is to flourish.
Tip # 14. Cutting back garden plants after their flowering period or to produce more flowers should follow one rule: Only cut back what is dry and discolored. While a plant is green, it is still in its cycle, and cutting back too soon can actually inhibit growth for the next year.
Tip # 15. Multiflowering plants should be trimmed back as the blossoms are spent to encourage more blooms to develop.
Tip # 16. Some plants, such as delphinium, can be fooled into blooming a second time. Once a flower has bloomed, cut the entire plant back to the ground, leaving only the base of foliage. The plant will actually force itself to produce a second flower. It may lack some of the height and bloom count of the first, but for the most part will produce a second beautiful flower.
Tip # 17. Some plants can be forced to become larger. When the plant sends up its initial flower stalk, cut the stalk back to the base of the leaves. The plant will then send up multiple shoots, producing more flowers.
Tip # 18. To produce a large flower from a plant that usually produces several blossoms, focus on one bud, trimming the others away so the plant can focus its energy. This method is known as "disbudding."
Tip # 19. Plants should be divided every few years to give them a vigorous new start and make them stronger bloomers. Wash away the soil from the roots before you make the division, so that you can see the best place to cut or pull. Be sure to leave a good clump of roots for each section.
Tip # 20. When growing plants from seeds, make sure not to crowd them, as this will inhibit growth. If seedlings appear crowded, pull the smallest and weakest, concentrating on the healthy ones.
Tip # 21. Protect your garden with nutrient-rich mulch over the winter, concentrating on the most frost-sensitive plants that need extra protection to survive. Plant flowers according to your temperature zone if you want plants to return and thrive every year. Some perennials can be planted as annuals in cooler climates.
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