Growing a Cutting Garden

A cutting garden is a great way to have your own private source of bouquets to brighten the indoors. Danette Johnson, Hadley Practice Leader and professional flower farmer, hosted this month's discussion where we discussed growing and maintaining a cutting garden.

May 2, 2019

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Audio Transcript


Hadley Growers: Growing a Cutting Garden

Presented by Danette Johnson

May 2, 2019

Danette Johnson: Okay. Because of the number of folks joining us, everyone is currently muted to minimize the background noise that happens when there's a lot of people in the room. However, this is hopefully going to be a lively discussion, and I'd love for everyone to participate. To help things run smoothly, here's some information about the Zoom format we're using that will be helpful.

If you're a veteran of the group, be patient, because I know you've heard this before. When you need to mute or unmute yourself, you use *6, if you called in from your phone. Alt A if you're on your PC, or Command Shift A if you're on a Mac. If you're using an app on your smartphone, don't be afraid to explore the screen to find the mute button. Also, just to keep things from getting too chaotic, it helps if you raise your hand to indicate that you'd like to speak, and then I can call on you.

On the phone, that's *9. On the PC, it's Alt+Y, and on the Mac, it's Command Shift+Y. Again, if you're coming on an app from your smartphone, you'll find the button as you explore your screen.

By the way, if you've phoned in, I'll call on you by repeating the last three digits of your phone number. For people on the computer, I'll use your first name. Be sure and keep yourself muted until you're ready to ask a question or make a comment, and then mute against once you're done. It just really helps with the background noise.

Okay. With all that out of the way, let's get started on today's topic, which is growing a cutting garden. I'm going to give you a little bit of background about myself. Besides being a learning expert here at Hadley, I am also a flower farmer. I live in Illinois, so our growing season is late April through October. I grow cut flowers for sales to florists, farmers markets, and then we do events like weddings and parties. Mostly, I grow just because I love it, and I just love having flowers around all the time.

A cutting garden means simply growing flowers and plants that look great, both outside and then also inside in a vase. I'd love to hear all about what you all grow for cutting. Does anyone have any thoughts on that, to start the conversation?

Yeah, go ahead, 008.

Laura: Hi. I live in California, and I like to grow flowers that last a long time. I grow gladiolas, Asian lilies, and dahlias.

Danette Johnson: Beautiful. I love dahlias, but I think they probably do better in California.

Laura: Yes. Could I ask a question about that, since I'm here?

Danette Johnson: Sure.

Laura: I always, I never know exactly which end is up to plant a bulb, like a dahlia bulb. I don't know how to figure that out. Both ends feel the same to me.

Danette Johnson: You lay them sideways, actually. Dig them deep enough that you can lay it, because they're usually longer than they are round. You lay them down lengthwise, and then one end will grow up, and the other end will grow roots down.

Laura: Is that the case with other bulbs too?

Danette Johnson: Since they're technically a tuber, that's why that works. With gladiolas, you can tell the rooty end is fuzzier.

Laura: Yes. I think, I didn't have a problem with that. You're right.

Danette Johnson: Yeah.

Laura: Thank you.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. A tulip bulb is pointier. It's a lot different than a dahlia tuber, which is long.

Laura: Great. Thank you.

Danette Johnson: Anyway. That's how I do it. I don't know if anyone else has a different way. That's how I do it.

Okay. How about you, 036?

Nancy: Hi, this is Nancy. I live in Maine. I love zinnias.

Danette Johnson: Yeah.

Nancy: It's one of my favorite flowers, and we grow a lot of them. I also have a lot of perennial-type flowers, like day lilies and naturalized phlox all over our yard, and peonies. We do have a lot of other flowers to combine with them. I just love them. We have to wait until the end to May to put any kind of plants in.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. Do you cut them to bring them in the house-

Nancy: We do.

Danette Johnson: Or do you most ... Yeah.

Nancy: I cut them to bring them in the house. I also do a church flower garden, so we help put flowers on our altar at our church.

Danette Johnson: Right. Zinnias are always a popular cut flower for people getting started in cut flowers. There's the big four, zinnias, sunflowers, celosia and cosmos. They tend to be maybe a little easier to grow, and they last a long time in the vase. The thing about zinnias is, the more you cut them, the more they bloom. They like to keep going. It's important if you want to keep getting blooms out of those, to cut off the dead ones, and then they'll send up new shoots.

Nancy: Yes. All right. Thank you.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. Does anyone else have any thoughts about what they like to grow? I have a number. 385. On the telephone, last three digits, 385?

John: Yeah. This is John.

Danette Johnson: Hi John.

John: I just have a question. Is it better to start them indoors, or just sow the seeds outdoors?

Danette Johnson: For zinnias?

John: Yeah. That's the easiest for me.

Danette Johnson: I find that, it's different everywhere. Because I'm growing them and I want them to grow throughout the season, I generally start a plat of them indoors, but they really like to be planted, so you can seed them directly in the ground. That's the easiest thing. Because I like to get a bit of a headstart, start a few of them indoors, and then [crosstalk 00:06:26].

That's the nice thing about zinnias, is-

John: I'm wondering, what's the growing season in Maine? From the other caller, I was wondering.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. 036, can you help with the Maine growing season?

Nancy: Yes. It's a little shorter than the Chicago area, we're a zone four, five, border [crosstalk 00:06:52] in town. I wouldn't put any annuals out until the end of May.

Danette Johnson: End of May.

John: Okay. Thank you.

Nancy: You're welcome.

Danette Johnson: Yep. How about you, 686?

Speaker 5: Hello. I had to unmute myself.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:07:17]

Speaker 5: I'm sorry. Good afternoon. I mostly grow other things in my container garden, but if I need to redo something, the easiest for me to obtain nearby is a gerbera daisy. Sometimes end up with one or two gerbera daisy containers, but I have a question about the zinnias. I told this story last month about how a grandmother of mine had quite a zinnia garden. I grew up with a lot of zinnias, but can they be grown in containers? I live in Milwaukee, and like the lady from Maine, mostly we plant end of May, once in a while, there're people who just even wait until first of June. Mostly, around Memorial Day.

Danette Johnson: Only speaking for myself, I've done zinnias once in a very large pot. Zinnia plants or zinnia, as we say here in Illinois, zinnia plants, get pretty big. You wouldn't want to do too many in a pot. I think it's definitely doable, and maybe someone else can chime in if they've had any experience with that as well.

Speaker 5: Thank you.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. The other nice thing about zinnias is there's a growing variety of them. There's your general cut and come again which are, they are the dahlia-looking ones. There's a variety called cactus zinnias, where the petals are almost more straight instead of rounded, and they're interesting. There's some smaller varieties, different colors, that are being hybridized every year. It's interesting to see what new things are coming out.

Anyone else have any comments on things they like to grow for cutting, specifically for cutting into the bring inside? Taylor.

Taylor: Okay. Hello, can you hear me?

Danette Johnson: Yep.

Taylor: Okay. I actually live in Texas, and this is actually my first discussion, to be honest. It's really neat.

Danette Johnson: Welcome.

Taylor: On the Zoom app. I'm just actually, I'm actually trying to figure out what can I grow, because I like this kind of thing. I just mostly love to hear about it, but now I want to actually try to do something. I'm in Texas, like I said.

Danette Johnson: Okay. Let's put it out there, see if there's anyone else from Texas on the line that could maybe help us with that. I know Texas, their growing season's longer, but it's also a lot hotter and dryer. Are you in a pretty southern part of Texas?

Taylor: Yes. I'm in the Denton/Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Danette Johnson: Okay. Anyone else out there from Texas? No one so far. What you could do to get started Taylor, is find out what your growing zone is. I know where I'm at, my zone is 5B. When I look up plants-

Taylor: I've heard about that.

Danette Johnson: When I look up plants, I look to see if it can grow in that zone. If you're looking for specific things, I know here, the things that like heat are zinnias and sunflowers and celosia. Those might be possibilities for Texas even, and those are a good thing to get started. They love the heat. Those might be-

Taylor: Where would I go to to find the zones?

Danette Johnson: The growing zone? You could even just Google search. In fact, I could do it while maybe somebody else is answering here, we have a couple of more hands up, so maybe somebody can give you an answer, of what your growing zone is.

Taylor: Okay.

Danette Johnson: Okay. All right. Thanks Taylor. If you want to mute, maybe somebody else could answer you.

Taylor: Thank you.

Danette Johnson: Yep. Okay. I have a hand up for Nfadz?

Taylor: Yes. Let me figure out ...

Danette Johnson: Are you there? Nfadz.

Taylor: What did you say? I muted it.

Danette Johnson: Okay. The person with their hand up, their handle on the Zoom says N-F-A-D-Z. Nfadz? I'm not ...

Taylor: Oh. Okay.

Danette Johnson: Go ahead and answer if you have an answer.

Taylor: Yeah. I don't know.

Danette Johnson: No? Okay. How about on the phone, 509?

Liz: Hi. My name is Liz, and I'm in the Fort Worth area.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Liz: The only thing that, I don't even have a black thumb, I don't have a thumb at all, that's why I'm listening, because I need to learn. I did put daffodils in once, and they bloomed every February. That's all they would bloom is just in February.

Danette Johnson: Daffodils, that's pretty typical. They blood for about a week in the spring, they're not a long-lived flower, and because they're a bulb, they're a one bloom and done for the year. The nice thing is, they come back the next year. You don't have to replant them unless squirrels or rabbits get to them. Definitely start with some bulbs. Daffodils and tulips, maybe some lilies. Those things that like it before it gets too hot.

Liz: Oh. For some reason, we still have freezes after that, but they bloom every February. I just don't understand, that's why I'm listening. I'm trying to learn this. We're in the way down zone. Is the larger the number, the zone you're in?

Danette Johnson: Yes.

Liz: It we're in seven. I think I'm in zone seven.

Danette Johnson: Yes. That is correct. The larger the number, the farther south or warmer you are. You are in southern Texas and you're seven?

Liz: Actually, I'm in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we're not really southern.

Danette Johnson: Oh, okay. That's similar to what the last person was asking then.

Liz: Right.

Danette Johnson: Daffodils here in zone five, they bloom in April. They're just now finishing. That sounds about right for your daffodils to be bloom in February.

Liz: Okay. Other bulbs, you said that would also grow then were tulips and what?

Danette Johnson: Some lilies maybe. Lilies will bloom a little bit later than tulips. I also love allium. It's A-L-I-U-M. It's in the onion family, but they don't smell like onions, and they get real tall and they get a nice purple globe. You can get them from as small as golf ball size, to as big as girl's softball size, just depending on which type of bulbs you purchase. Those, not only will come back, but they'll multiply a little bit.

That's another nice bulb. Then, they add interest to your garden, because if you don't cut them, they lose their purple color, but they keep the round heads. It's an interesting tall feature in your garden. You have these ball, little tan balls that stick up, which are an interesting feature.

Liz: Do they stay [inaudible 00:15:22] because that's kind of what I wanted to try and do, but I don't know how that works either, how to get them. The bulbs are easier for me, with my vision.

Danette Johnson: What was the first part of your question? Do they do what?

Liz: I would like to stagger, when the flowers come up, so there's something always blooming, and bulbs are easiest for me, but I don't know in the heat, if the bulbs would bloom.

Danette Johnson: I think they would still bloom. Usually, it's daffodils and then tulips and then allium. At least that's the six section that I find here. My tulips are blooming right now. My allium bulbs are just starting to send up stems. They haven't formed their heads yet. If you're looking to keep things going, and then lilies would be even after that, would be after allium. Then, gladiolas, somebody else mentioned gladiolas, those are a bulb that in Texas, you probably wouldn't have to dig them up. In Illinois, you have to dig them up, they don't survive the winter.

Now, the other one-

Liz: Oh yeah.

Danette Johnson: Gladiolas don't survive the winter in Illinois. In Texas, they probably would. Then also-

Liz: [crosstalk 00:16:42]

Danette Johnson: ... dahlias. Go ahead? No, go ahead.

Liz: Because I was just remembering, because I grew up in very northern Minnesota, and I remember we always had to dig up all the bulbs. I think that's what kept me from starting. You're right, I don't think we'd have to dig them up here.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. Exactly.

Liz: Cool. Okay. I want to go back to listening a lot now.

Danette Johnson: Okay. All right. I don't see any other hands up. Does anyone have anything else they like to grow for cutting, or any ... Oh, I see. On the phone, 036.

Nancy: Hi. This is Nancy again. There is a type of dwarf zinnia that grows eight to 14 inches, that is perfect for a container garden, if somebody wants to plant them in a pot.

Danette Johnson: Wonderful.

Nancy: The other thing I wanted to say is the lady from Texas, if she's a new gardener, she might want to reach out to her cooperative extension, and they can be very helpful providing her with some educational material.

Danette Johnson: That's true. Do you know if that dwarf zinnia has a different name, or is it just called a dwarf zinnia?

Nancy: Hold on a second. I don't know, I ... I want to say it's short something, but I'm not sure if I've got the whole name.

Danette Johnson: Okay. All right. Maybe in the meantime, I'll go to the next person and we can come back?

Nancy: Okay. I'll check it out. All right. Thanks. Bye.

Danette Johnson: Okay. All right. Caller 166. If you need to unmute, it's *6.

Sue: Yes. I did need to unmute. I wanted to let you know that here in Alabama, narcissus are blooming in January, daffodils go anyplace from early February to late March. Right now, my asters are about to bloom. The gladiolas have stopped blooming. The honeysuckle is in bloom. I just planted the ... What is it called. There's a ... It's an herb. I can't remember what it is, but when I went to plant it, I was surprised at a flower that had not done well last year, and I probably am going to botch up the name, rubideckia? That's ready to bloom right now. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Danette Johnson: Rudbeckia. It's in the black-eyed Susan family.

Sue: Yeah. Only this is more like a daisy. It's got lighter colors. It's not like the black-eyed Susan.

Danette Johnson: But it's in that same family, I believe.

Sue: Yeah. Right. It is the daisy-looking family.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. That seems early for that plant. That's usually more of a later summer plant.

Sue: Like I say, this is Alabama. Our season is a whole lot earlier than your zone five.

Danette Johnson: Are yours a perennial? You plant that plant that you're speaking of?

Sue: It came up again from last year, so yeah, it must be a perennial.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. I know that those are big self-seeders. Even if the original plant doesn't come up, sometimes they'll seed and give you even more plants.

Sue: Good. I can't wait. I love having stuff year round. This evening, I'm going to go out and plant my zinnias, and I planted the wild purple basil this morning, along with the lamb's ears. I had to pull poison ivy out of my garden.

Danette Johnson: Oh, I hope you had gloves.

Sue: I have the gloves that I use. I just hope that when it swung, you pull and the thing flops. I just hope I didn't get it on my arms. I'll kind of in a couple of days.

Danette Johnson: That's true.

Sue: It usually takes me that long to react.

Danette Johnson: Go wash in some dish soap.

Sue: I have.

Danette Johnson: I've heard that that works, because dish soap is formulate ... I don't know if that's the correct word, to get rid of oil, and poison ivy is an oil. That's a good thing to use if you think you've been touched by it. Thank you for your help with what's growing in your area.

Sue: You're welcome. Now, how do I mute again, or do you automatically do that?

Danette Johnson: No, if you just start *6 again, you'll be muted again.

Sue: Okay.

Danette Johnson: Okay. On the phone, we have 686.

Speaker 5: Hey. Another suggestion for the person in Denton, Texas. I'm acquainted with someone who lives in the Denton area, and I know that she grows quite an abundance of basil. That's easy to grow. I love growing basil in containers here, in the Milwaukee area. It's easy to grow, but I hear good things about it from Denton, Texas. That's a suggestion. Thanks very much for letting me know about the dwarf zinnias.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. Now, I've grown basil a couple times, but as a cut flower, it's finicky. If you're going to cut it and put it in a vase, you have to do it pretty early in the morning before it gets warm, and give it lots of water, and a cool space, because it wilts easily once it's cut. It's kind of particular. It does smell really good.

Okay. On the phone, we have 036.

Nancy: Hi, it's Nancy. The name of the zinnia is called the short stuff hybrid zinnia. You can get it from Jung Seeds, which is J-U-N-G Seeds.

Danette Johnson: Great. Thank you. Say that one more time?

Nancy: Okay. It's short-

Danette Johnson: What's that?

Nancy: ... stuff zinnia, and Jung Seeds, which is J-U-N-G Seeds.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Nancy: It's a catalog. I didn't quite hear what you said about what kind of soap to use with poison ivy?

Danette Johnson: I've just heard that if you use Dawn dish soap, rub it on-

Nancy: That's what I was going to say. Our pharmacist actually told us that. You're absolutely correct, that it breaks down the oils. He said, you got to do it right away, and you'll have really good results. All right. Thank you.

Danette Johnson: Of course. That's always, if you know that you've touched it, right? If you don't know, then there's no hope. You got your 10 days of torture.

Nancy: [crosstalk 00:24:07]

Danette Johnson: Yeah. Okay. We'd talked a lot about cutting flowers. We have a lot of the same ones. I do have a few other things that I could mention, that make good cut flowers. Peonies are always great cut flowers. They smell so good, your house will smell great. If you bring some peonies in and put them in a vase. You could even cut peonies, as they come out, you can feel the head of them, they turn from a hard ball into a soft marshmallow ball, and then they open all the way. If you cut them when they're at that marshmallow stage, they'll last for a long time in the vase. Just cut them when they're just squishy like that, and put them in a vase, and then they can last a week or more in the vase.

You don't have to wait until they're all the way open, and sometimes, peonies are known for ants. If you get them in those early stages, you're not going to be bringing in the ants hiding in the petals. That's just another tip.

Some other ones, delphinium, I know those are fussy. Probably you people in Texas aren't going to be grow delphinium too much, they don't like hot weather. Those are a good cut flower. Yarrow, as a perennial, it smells good. Again, it needs to be cut early in the morning when it's cool. It likes the heat to grow in, it just doesn't like the heat to be cut in. Kind of fussy that way.

You've all mentioned some really great ones. Does anyone else have any comments or any other questions? Maybe not related to cutting gardens. Any gardening questions at all? Does anyone have any other ideas of bulbs? Because I hear that that's a pretty popular one here. Okay, on the phone, number 509.

Liz: Hi. It's Liz in Fort Worth again.

Danette Johnson: Hi.

Liz: You had said something about the ants. That is a problem in my garden area. Where the trees are back there, there's a lot of ants. How do you keep the ants from coming in the house? On the flowers.

Danette Johnson: That is a good question. A lot of times, if I see that they're on the peonies, you know what, I'm going to let you go ahead and mute, and then listen. Okay. If you ... I hear an echo from somebody.

Liz: Hi.

Danette Johnson: Okay. If I notice or feel that there's creeping ants on the peonies, then I'll dunk the heads of them in a bucket of cold water before I bring them in. It's not going to hurt the flower to put the head of the flower in water, and that generally helps get them off before you bring them in. If maybe somebody else has some other tips too, as we're waiting. Okay, how about you, Lori?

Lori: Hi there. I'm Lori. Okay, because I'm a newbie at this, so I hope everyone can hear me.

Danette Johnson: Yep. I can hear you.

Lori: Okay. Great. I'm interested in the idea, a little bit more about soil preparation. For example, you were talking bulbs. I know the early daffodils, they just will grow up through the lawn. Are the other bulbs, do they do that well through grasses and things? Or, most of the time, do you have to smother out an area and have the clean soil to put them in?

Danette Johnson: My thinking is that, they would grow up through the grass. [crosstalk 00:28:18]

Lori: I have a big perennial garden that I made, as a novice. It's very large. Lilies come up in there really good. Primrose, mint. I'm just wondering if, but I can't ... Without renovating the whole thing, it's just got a lot of grasses and weeds and stuff in, which I really don't mind, because I like the naturalness of it.

Lori: What I'm wondering though is if I can sink some bulbs in there of different types, just to make it a little more interesting, if that would ... Or would it be okay to just slice some of that grass away and creeping charlie and stuff like that, it mostly is. Then, sink the-

Danette Johnson: Yeah, I think the bulbs would still come up through the grass. I know creeping charlie tends to be a choker. I still think a bulb would push through it. You'd just have to do some experimenting, I think.

Lori: The bulbs, depending upon when they come up, I suppose, would be a factor too. The lilies, they just come right up through everything.

Danette Johnson: Right.

Lori: I have to do some experimenting, I guess.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. You'll have to let us know how it goes. I'd say more, they need, in order to come back the next year, they need plenty of light, so that they can feed themself, feed the bulb for the next bloom. You just have to make sure that even once they were up, they weren't too overpowered by grasses that were taller, so that they could get the light that they needed [crosstalk 00:30:05]

Lori: Yeah. I can go around the base all summer and clean away, is what I do. Yeah.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. That should work.

Lori: Okay. Great. Thank you.

Danette Johnson: Uh-huh. Irene?

Irene: Yeah. I have a comment. I don't know how helpful it is, because I'm in zone four. What we get along, I have masses of flowers, everything. What we get along with here, which might be useful is the crocuses. They seem to be able to do very well, if you don't mow the lawn, until after they have died down a bit, the crocuses seem to do very well in whatever kind of soil or conditions that you put them in. I think they're probably one of the earliest to bloom. Am I correct there?

Danette Johnson: Yeah. Crocus and muscari, or some people call them grape hyacinths, those are the really early ones. They're short to the ground, so they definitely, they tend to come up before even the grass gets too tall, which is nice, because then you get some color in your yard.

Irene: I think that's probably a suggestion, because they definitely are ahead of the grass. Now, my cut flower story is, I have a rose bush, and it's along a pathway. When it gets in my way, because I'm walking to and from the rain barrel, my daughter's birthday is the middle of June. I just go through with a pair of brush hooks, and my daughter always gets an absolutely beautiful bouquet, it's usually a pail-full, of roses and rosebuds for her birthday. Isn't that lovely of me?

Danette Johnson: Yeah. It is.

Irene: Yeah, I thought you'd appreciate that. That's my ... I've got all these flowers, because of my daughter. It's nice to have the lily of the valley and the lilacs in bloom at the same time, so you're getting ... Oh, the lily of the valley are over there, and the lilacs are over there. It's a lovely scent.

Danette Johnson: That's right.

Irene: I have a different story that I was dying to tell. Maybe I'll wait until next month and tell Ed, and his container gardening. I've got a difference on container gardening for Ed. I've just almost completed the course. I'll give Ed the heads up on my new turn on container gardening for next month.

Danette Johnson: Okay. That sounds good Irene, we have a teaser for the next month already.

Okay. On the phone, caller 177? *6 to unmute.

Kelly: Hi. This is Kelly. Did you actually mean 9177?

Danette Johnson: It could be. All it shows me is the last three numbers. Go ahead.

Kelly: Okay. That's me. Yeah, okay. This is in response to the ants. Peppermint oil and tea tree oil are really good to keep the bugs away. I don't know how that's going to relate to the plants and the natural smell of them, but you might want to try that.

Danette Johnson: Do you spray that on, apply it at the roots, how do you do that?

Kelly: In the house around the door, we use cotton balls, but you can put it in, a few drops of tea tree and peppermint in a spray bottle with some water, and then you could spray the ground.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Kelly: Yeah. It might work.

Danette Johnson: You could probably even do that on the plant itself, before you cut it, to bring it in, and give it a few minutes for the ants to escape.

Kelly: Right.

Danette Johnson: Thank you. Peppermint oil and tea tree oil.

Kelly: Correct. Yep.

Danette Johnson: Great. Thank you.

Kelly: Sure.

Danette Johnson: On the phone, 166.

Sue: This is Sue again. I wanted to let you know that when you're talking about the bulbs coming up through the grass, like the daffodils, they will come up through the grass, but you've got to make sure that you don't mow them, because that will stop their growth. You have to wait until those leaves died back, turn brown, before you mow over them, otherwise you're going to kill them off.

Danette Johnson: Are you able to tell in a non-visual way, when those leaves have died back?

Sue: When they are just very, very limp. They'll go through the stage of turning that yellowish color, and they're moist. You can feel the difference between a moist one and a dried out brown one.

Danette Johnson: In my experience, they tend to go from standing upright to laying flat on the ground when they're finished.

Sue: They will lay flat on the ground, but they might be the yellow. You've got to wait until they're brown before you mow around them, or mow over.

Danette Johnson: They get a little crunchier when they're brown, right?

Sue: Right.

Danette Johnson: In the yellow stage, they're kind of wet. When they get to the brown-

Sue: Yeah.

Danette Johnson: ... dried and crunchy. Okay.

Sue: Yeah.

Danette Johnson: That's good. Okay. Thank you.

Okay. Anyone else have some gardening questions? We haven't talked much ... Okay. Taylor?

Taylor: Yeah. That person that was talking about-

Danette Johnson: Hold on. Okay. Go ahead.

Taylor: Yeah, I heard that too. To the person that was talking about the spraying the oil, did she say tea tree with a T, or with a P?

Danette Johnson: I think with a T.

Taylor: Okay, I thought so.

Kelly: Yes, it's T-E-A T-R-E-E. Tea tree.

Taylor: Tea tree. Okay. I thought you said that, I was just making sure.

Kelly: Yep.

Taylor: Okay. Thanks. That's a good idea.

Danette Johnson: 686? On the phone?

Speaker 5: I heard last Friday on a garden show on Wisconsin Public Radio, that one should not put cut daffodils and cut tulips in the same vase. I had never heard that before. Maybe this is very common knowledge, but I had never heard it, that there's some type of oil that comes from the daffodil, that will make the tulips wilt faster.

Danette Johnson: I think you're correct. I think that I've heard that before too. I do know that daffodils don't last as long once they're cut. They don't ... Tulips, you tend to cut, if you're going to sell them to a supermarket or something to sell again, you cut them just as they begin to show some color on the head. Then, they can last up to two weeks. Now, daffodils, you will be lucky if you get a week, once they're cut. They must have something that doesn't allow them to last as long, and to maybe infect the tulips, if they were in the same-

Speaker 5: But her point was, that something in the daffodil makes the tulip wilt faster, when they're in the same cut vase.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. That's interesting. She didn't say what it was, she just mentioned-

Speaker 5: Yes, an oil from the daffodil. When the [crosstalk 00:38:24] is cut, it secretes an oil that affects the tulips that are in the same vase. She suggested not putting them in the same vase.

Danette Johnson: Okay. Good to know.

Speaker 5: Thank-

Danette Johnson: Okay. On Zoom, again it's Nfadz? I'm not sure your name, but you have your hand up. Go ahead. Here, I'll unmute you. Okay.

Nfadz: Can you hear me?

Danette Johnson: Yep.

Nfadz: Okay. I didn't know if this thing worked or not. I'm in zone seven.

Danette Johnson: You're in zone seven?

Nfadz: Yes.

Danette Johnson: Are you also in Texas?

Nfadz: No. I'm in the Smoky Mountains.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Nfadz: I grow just about anything here.

Danette Johnson: What are your favorites?

Nfadz: Lilies, irises, cannas.

Danette Johnson: Oh, that was a bulb we hadn't mentioned yet. It's also technically not a bulb.

Nfadz: Roses. Poppies. I grow a tree called a pussy willow.

Danette Johnson: That's nice. Do you take cuttings from your pussy willow to get more new ones each year?

Nfadz: Yes. I have done that. I've taken it and planted them back into the mountains.

Danette Johnson: Now, do they grow more like a bush, or is it more like a tree?

Nfadz: It's sort of like a tree. They don't grow tall, they're about 30 feet. [inaudible 00:40:28]

Danette Johnson: What time of the year do they get the little cat kittens or fuzzy pussy willow things on them, in your neck of the woods?

Nfadz: I'd say probably March.

Danette Johnson: In March, okay. Those are a popular thing in, when you go to a nursery or a gardening store, those are a popular thing that they have in decorated pots, in the springtime.

Nfadz: Yeah. I got it at a funeral. They were in a pot. They're real pretty in the springtime. [inaudible 00:41:08] different flowering trees and shrubs, snowballs and rose of Sharon. There's a queen, I believe it's Queen Elizabeth shrub, it comes out with a real pretty bloom in May, early May.

Danette Johnson: Okay. I've not heard of that shrub before. Queen Elizabeth. I wonder if it has another name.

Nfadz: It probably does. There's one that I've seen in the mountains, a rhododendron.

Danette Johnson: Yes.

Nfadz: Then there's a, I don't know what the name of it is, but it has a real pretty orange flower on it. It grows wild in the mountains.

Danette Johnson: It's a flowering tree, or it's a plant in the ground?

Nfadz: It's a shrub. I call it a bush.

Danette Johnson: But it has orange flowers. That is unusual.

Nfadz: Yeah. I think it's like a big orange flower, is what I call it. [inaudible 00:42:25]

Danette Johnson: Do you cut branches from these flowering trees to bring inside?

Nfadz: No. I'd like to know more about that. Do you cut it on an angle, when you transplant something, and how do you find your potential buyer, your client?

Danette Johnson: For what I do, I sell mostly to florists. I went around to all of my local florists, and showed them the products that I had. Then, weekly, I go to the florists and then they purchase what they want. I think it's probably different in every area. I'm in a pretty rural area, so I know people who are closer to bigger cities have better luck with farmer's markets, and maybe selling to wholesalers who then sell to florists. Especially with your flowering trees, the wholesale idea might be a good way to go. You'd have to search wholesale dealers in your area maybe, to see if you can be connected with something like that.

Nfadz: Okay. Thank you very much.

Danette Johnson: I think flowering trees are becoming a bigger market for sale. People like the stems for decorating in their homes. If you have an abundance of those, that might be something worth looking into.

I do make some cuts. Woody stems are different as far as post-harvest handling, what you do with them to get them to last. I haven't had much luck with lilacs. I can grow them, but I haven't had much luck keeping them alive very long when they're in the house. I'd love to hear if anyone had any tips about keeping lilacs alive longer once they're cut.

All right. Anyone have any ideas about lilacs? I love the smell of them in the house, but it seems like after a day, they're already starting to wilt. Okay. Any other gardening questions in general?

Someone mentioned a canna bulb. That's another bulb for the person who was wanting bulbs to plant. Those tend to get tall, and they're later blooming. If you're looking at succession of things, that would be another good one to plant. It blooms later in the summer.

Okay. Caller 042.

Speaker 13: Good afternoon. I'm calling from Washington area, Maryland.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Speaker 13: Actually, I had planted two packets of gladiolas in my front yard. They bloomed the first year, but after that, I have never seen them grow again.

Danette Johnson: Okay. That's because, I'm going to mute you and give you an answer, okay? Because I hear some feedback.

Okay. That's because gladiolas are temperature-sensitive. You're going to have to dig up your bulbs at the end of the summer when they're done blooming, and after their leaves have faded a bit. You have to dig up your bulbs, and then over winter them. I put mine in a tub of vermiculite, some people use peat moss or wood chips. You just put them in a single layer, covered with the vermiculite in a cool spot. I just put them in my basement, that stays pretty cool. Then, you have to plant them again the next year.

While they're beautiful, they are a little bit more high maintenance, as far as bulbs go. Okay. 04-

Speaker 13: Thanks. That's interesting. I never knew that. I was wondering, is it the rabbits, or is it the chipmunks-

Danette Johnson: That's a possibility, but I'm thinking that you're not [inaudible 00:46:52] so they probably just can't handle the temperature.

Speaker 13: I see. Great. Thank you.

Danette Johnson: You're welcome. 036.

Nancy: Hi, this is Nancy. I just wanted to make a comment about planting daffodils and tulips. If you live in an area where you have deer, the deer will eat the tulips, but they won't eat the daffodils.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. That goes back to putting them in the same vase, there must be something in those daffodils that's not tasty.

Nancy: Yeah. I just had, I had 10 tulips just about ready to bloom and we went out to look this afternoon, and they're gone.

Danette Johnson: Yeah, I know.

Nancy: We figured that could be the deer, because I live in a semi-rural area.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. Rabbits-

Nancy: Yeah, thank you.

Danette Johnson: Yeah, rabbits love tulips too. I have to fence all my tulips off, or the rabbits, they'll come up and they'll just eat the top half of the bloom. It's very maddening.

Nancy: Oh.

Danette Johnson: Wild rabbits are-

Nancy: One other ...

Danette Johnson: Go ahead.

Nancy: I was going to say, my daughter used to live in Chicago, and we always used to love the catamint, the purple flowers that were all along the sides of the fire stations and stuff, on the street she lived on. We actually finally found some here in Maine and grew it, and we just love it, because it's got a lot of purple flowers. It is short, but it stays for a good deal of the summer. Okay.

Danette Johnson: Now, did you say cat mint?

Nancy: Catamint, yes.

Danette Johnson: Oh, catamint.

Nancy: Yes.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Nancy: All right. Thank you.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. Are you still there, 036? Is that-

Nancy: Yeah.

Danette Johnson: Is that a plant that will spread on its own?

Nancy: I don't think it really spreads. It's compacted and has spiky flowers, I believe. It comes back. It's an annual, so it comes back. It just, you could grow it right near the edge of the road. It takes a lot of, what do I want to say.

Danette Johnson: Harsh environment?

Nancy: Yeah. Yes. Sorry. It does very well doing that. Because the salt and stuff from the streets and the sidewalk did not seem to bother it.

Danette Johnson: Okay. That's good to know.

Nancy: Yeah. Okay, thanks.

Danette Johnson: Do you how that's spelled?

Nancy: I think it's just C-A-T-A-M-I-N-T.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Nancy: Okay. Thank you.

Danette Johnson: All right. Thank you.

Nancy: Yep.

Danette Johnson: Okay. Caller 008.

Laura: Hi. This is Laura again, in northern California. I wonder, how do you grow roses if you have to use your hands to feel them, and there's thorns everywhere?

Danette Johnson: I was wondering the same thing. I know that's a plant you better know where it is. You don't want to run into that on accident. I do know someone was speaking about having some roses. If anyone else would like to help out with that here, that'd be great. We'd love to hear how you manage your roses. I know-

Irene: It's Irene.

Danette Johnson: Yeah.

Irene: Yeah. That's a good one. That's why I take the brush hooks at them, so that I don't have to deal with them, because they cause a lot of [inaudible 00:50:24]. I don't know. This is a rose bush. It's almost to the eave of the house. It's probably about 10 feet tall now. Yeah, you have to be very careful. One of the things we do with it is take all the rose hips off it, and make rose hip tea. I can remove the rose hips and ... Yeah, it's a job that you do very slowly and carefully, and pay attention to where all the thorns are going to end up.

I can say as I've ever, to my knowledge, drawn blood, but I've certainly been nailed with the roses a few times. Oh, maybe our friend in the Smoky Mountains, he grows roses as well.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. Now, do you wear special gloves, like the gloves that go up to your elbow, those rose gloves?

Irene: Nope.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Irene: You just, I suppose you've got to have a very high pain threshold, that's a good word.

Danette Johnson: Yeah, maybe so. Yeah. Now, I know it probably depends on the type of rose too. I have [crosstalk 00:51:39] those knockout roses, they stay pretty compact, so you know where they are. I also have one that's more of a wild rose, or an old fashioned rose, and it can grow the most crooked, long stems ever. I think that one would be more difficult to manage.

Okay. I see a hand up. Nfadz, go ahead.

Irene: There you are.

Danette Johnson: Go ahead.

Nfadz: Okay. Can you hear me?

Danette Johnson: Yep.

Nfadz: Okay. Now, the roses, the gloves, I've got some gloves you can order with roses, because they got the little thorns [inaudible 00:52:24] gloves that you wear to wash dishes. Playtex gloves. Except, they've got a rough part on the, where on bottom of your hands go. You get them at the, at Lowe's or somewhere like ... I think I got it at Lowe's.

Danette Johnson: Okay. You're saying they're a plastic, not leather?

Nfadz: Yeah. They're plastic.

Danette Johnson: Okay. They're strong enough that the thorns don't tend to go through?

Nfadz: Yeah.

Danette Johnson: Okay. Great. Those are the kind that go up farther on your arm, is what you're saying?

Nfadz: Yeah. They're past your wrist.

Danette Johnson: Okay. What type of roses do you have? Do you have the small shrub variety, or the-

Nfadz: Yeah.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Nfadz: Yeah. I don't have the type that grows up like a vine.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. Okay. Maybe if you had the viney kind, if you used a trellis, so that you knew where they were headed, it would be easier to prevent running into them, and some accidental stabbings. All right, thank-

Nfadz: That makes sense.

Danette Johnson: Yeah, thank you.

Nfadz: When you have to prune them, when you prune them back, that's when I use gloves mostly, is ...

Danette Johnson: Right. Okay. Do you just prune them to the ground?

Nfadz: I do that in, I believe in February.

Danette Johnson: Okay. That makes it easier too, if you just prune them to the ground, then you don't have to determine where the dead parts are, and the new growth.

Nfadz: Yeah. I get a soil test, and tell me what my pH level is, what type of fertilizer and manure, whatever I need to add to it.

Danette Johnson: Okay. Great. Thank you.

Nfadz: Okay.

Danette Johnson: Okay. On the phone, 473?

Debbie: Yes. This is Debbie from Kansas.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Debbie: I actually have a rose bush, I have three of them in our backyard. I have one that's growing along the back fence, and it's one of them wild ones that shoots up everywhere. That rose bush actually has bred into it, it says it's thornless. It does have some thorns, but not very many, and they're not real sharp.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Debbie: They've got a really, really beautiful pink rose. However, this is a viney thing, so they're not ... I cut them and bring them in, but they're real short. There's not a very long stem on them.

Danette Johnson: Yeah, more like a teacup.

Debbie: Yeah. Or those knockout roses. I've got two of those also. Man, those things, you don't want to get too close to them, unless you really like to be pricked, because there's a lot of thorns on them. I do prune those back real far at the beginning of the growing season, February, March, something like that. I cut them back to about six inches. That other one in the back that I was talking about, I just go out with a pair of pruners and cut it off, so it don't get too wild, because I'm not sure how far that thing would go. It'd go a long ways, I think.

Debbie: That's what I do with that. I did have a suggestion for the young lady in Texas, day lilies might be something else. They're real easy to grow, and they don't seem to mind heat or dry.

Danette Johnson: Okay. Those tend to spread a bit too. That's nice.

Debbie: Yeah. They sure do. They've got all kinds of those now. They've got ones that bloom more than once, and they've got fragrant ones. There's a lot of different varieties of those now. They're not just the kind that, I think the kind that used to be in the beginning, were either yellow or orange. They've got all different colors now. They're a beautiful flower. The only thing is, is when they open, at the end of the day, that flower's done. I'm not sure that they'd be real good to bring in.

I bring them in sometimes, because there's a whole bunch on a stem, so that you'll still get some opening up after that. They seem to stay, but still, they only, for as strong looking flower they are, they sure don't last that long.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. They're not generally grown as a cut flower, just for that reason. They just don't last but they sure are pretty in the yard. That's nice. Thank you.

Debbie: Yes.

Danette Johnson: Okay. We're getting on, we're at 3:01, actually. We'll take the last two real quick. Phone 008.

Laura: Hi. I was the person who just asked about roses. I guess, I don't have good enough vision without feeling things to prune and all. Wearing gloves is not an option for me. I think I'll just-

Danette Johnson: Roses might be-

Laura: ... stick with other things.

Danette Johnson: Yeah, that's what I was going to say, might be one to stay away from, unless you could find one of those thornless varieties that the other caller was mentioning.

Laura: Right.

Danette Johnson: Yeah, that might just be something you say, I don't actually ... Roses aren't in my strong suit. The two rose bushes that we have are my husband's. Otherwise they're [crosstalk 00:58:23]

Laura: I love them, because I like things that are fragrant.

Danette Johnson: Yes. They do tend to be very fragrant. Lily of the valley is a good fragrant one. Lilacs are nice and fragrant.

Laura: Yeah. They don't grow by me. I think it doesn't get cold enough or something, or it gets too warm.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Laura: I'm in zone nine.

Danette Johnson: Oh. Okay. Yeah. That makes sense. Neither one of those grow by you then?

Laura: Definitely, I don't think lilacs grow. I haven't seen any anywhere. I grew up with them in northern Illinois. All right, thank you.

Danette Johnson: Yep, thank you. All right, our last one. Taylor?

Taylor: Yeah. Hello. I was actually going to mention the same thing about the gloves. I'm glad [inaudible 00:59:11]

Danette Johnson: Oh, you cut out, Taylor.

Taylor: Oh. Let's see. Hello, can you hear me?

Danette Johnson: There. Yep, that's better.

Taylor: Okay. I don't know. I was just going to say something about the gloves too, but I'm glad the other caller talked about the thornless, because I'm totally blind also. Again, I like the roses, because of the smell. I'm the one in Texas. I like all of this. I'm just a new thumb to it all.

Danette Johnson: Yeah. Maybe on one of our future chats, we could talk about all of the best smelling flowers. Then, everybody could just plant a wonderful scent garden. That would be really, a really interesting topic, I think.

Taylor: Yeah. Like a sensory garden. I think that-

Danette Johnson: Yeah.

Taylor: ... was mentioned in one.

Danette Johnson: Okay. All right. Thank you, Taylor.

Taylor: Thanks so much.

Danette Johnson: Okay.

Taylor: Yes. Thank you.

Danette Johnson: All right. It's 3:04. Our time has to close for today. Thank you everyone for joining us and for participating. It's been a great discussion. The next time will be in a month, and they'll send out another invite or notification about that. You can always count on it being on the same day every month. Again, thank you for coming. See you next time.