Home & Garden

Your garden: Water and liquid fertilizer work wonders

David Cooper's pond took extensive work. He went through many shovels while digging it.
David Cooper's pond took extensive work. He went through many shovels while digging it.

David Cooper's garden on Richmond Avenue is almost 2 years old. Most of the plants came from his garden on Ridgeway Road and made the move during the span of a year. Cooper said you can move anything at any time if you keep it watered.

The pond took the most work: Half of it is built on half of the original driveway whose gravel and rock base was more than 4 feet deep and had been packed down during the past 80-plus years. He wore out three shovels and broke the handle off of two more while digging the pond, he said.

Here are Cooper's five gardening tips:

1. Use liquid fertilizer every one to two weeks. He uses Miracle-Gro for tomatoes on everything. He also likes a product he gets from Rosemania.com called Liquid Easy Feed. It has micro elements, seaweed, fish oil and organic soil additives in liquid form.

2. Dahlias and gladiolus will winter over in this area, especially in town. Even after last winter, all of his dahlias returned. Just cut the stems back to the ground after frost, then put a shovelful of soil on top of the ground where the tubers are. Mulch with a lot of pine needles.

3. To get really cool and hard-to-find plants, shop on the Internet. Cooper's favorite place is in North Carolina — Plant Delights Nursery Inc., at the Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. The catalog, written by owner Tony Avent, gives hilarious descriptions of certain plants.

4. No one plants enough daffodils in the fall. The Works, from White Flower Farm, is by far the best mixture of huge bulbs and interesting varieties. The experts say to wait until the soil is cool so they won't come up early. Stupid advice. Get them in the ground as early as you can get the bulbs. The bulbs know when to come up.

5. Water, even after it rains. Water some more. Then water again.

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