I want to totally renovate a couple of perennial beds this year. How should I go about it to minimize stress on the flowers? The flowers include roses, Lillies, clematis, phlox, black eye Susan's, coreopsis, hibiscus. I would also like to add a medium size, well behaved tree and would like some good ideas. Thanks, Gwen
ANSWER FROM DENNIS:
Renovating a garden can be a challenge as there are a number of plants that have different requirements. It also depends on your definition of renovation. Total redo would involve removing the plants, preparing the soil and then replanting. Or is your term renovating just moving things around. The best time to either completely redo or spruce up with be late winter or early spring. The plants could be lifted potted up and held for a short period of time while the renovation is underway and replanted. Digging an established plant and moving is best done while dormant, just coming out of dormancy and when the temps are cool to help with reestablishment.
As for a tree I need more information. As for a couple of nice garden worthy trees try Seven Son’s, Sweet Bay Magnolia or a standard hydrangea. That will give you a few ideas to research. Carole, any other great ideas?
Dennis – Johnson County K-State Extension
ANSWER FROM CAROLE:
In my book soil is everything. So the only thing I would add is to do a soil test in the area of the perennial bed now or sometime this fall. Here is the link to a KSU Master Gardener fact sheet on how to create great soil conditions: Click here
Carole-Johnson County Extension Master Gardener