Tag: Summer Flowering bulbs

Hardiness Zones-What Are They And What Do They Mean?

Hardiness Zones-What Are They And What Do They Mean?

Many novice gardeners have never heard of the term “hardiness zones,” or if they have, they have no idea what it means. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has divided North America into 13 different hardiness zones based on temperature and climate. Each one is labeled as zone 1, zone 2, through zone 13. Zone 1 is the coldest climate and zone 13 is the hottest. Each zone has a 10 degree differential, based on the average minimum temperature of the location. In other words, zone 1s average minimum temperature is 10 degrees colder than zone 2s. They then determine which plants grow best in which zone and recommend a hardiness zone for every plant.

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Hardy Plants are those that can be left in the ground safely all year even where frost penetrates deeply into the soil. Most of the beloved bulbs of spring (bulbs planted in the fall) are in this category – crocus, daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. Lilies and many perennials are also hardy in most zones. It is important to know your hardiness zone, so that you can know what is hardy in your garden. The lower the zone number, the colder the zone. For example, Zone 2 is colder than Zone 3. A plant that is hardy to Zone 3, may not overwinter in a Zone 2 garden, unless given special protection. Bulbs benefit greatly from a 2″ to 4″ deep mulch of shredded bark or hardwood, compost or leaves. Mulch prevents the ground from alternately freezing and thawing, which can heave the bulbs out of the ground during winter. In summer, a mulch conserves moisture and suppresses weeds. Wait until the ground freezes before applying a winter mulch to fall planted bulbs.

Planting a bulb in its ideal hardiness zone is important. Just like you would never want to walk around in a shoe three sizes too small for you, a plant does not want to grow in a hardiness zone that is way outside of its comfort zone either. It can be too hot or too cold for the plant, which can result in it failing to thrive and grow. It can even cause the plant to die.

So you love a certain flower, but it isn’t hardy in your zone. Can you still plant it and have it grow? Absolutely! All flowers will grow in every zone, it is only when it is not hardy to your zone you must treat it like an annual and winter it.

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Wintering Bulbs

Bulbs and Corms that have a protective papery husk are easy to deal with. Simply dig up in the fall and shake the soil off. If the foliage has not quite died, leave the bulbs upright in a cool spot for a couple of weeks. Cut off the dead foliage and store the bulbs in old nylon stockings or mesh bags in a cool but frost-free area.bulbs

Summer blooming flowers with fleshy tubers or roots should be dug before frost and spread out in a shaded spot (like a garage) until the outside of the tuber feels dry. Then lay them in uncovered shallow flats or boxes filled with peat moss, sawdust or vermiculite. Check monthly to make sure they are not drying out and shriveling. They should stay plump until spring planting time, so you may have to sprinkle them with a little water to keep the right moisture. Too much water will cause mold.

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Here at Flower Power Fundraising we ship all of our products according to hardiness zones. This fall we will begin shipping our fall bulbs to the cooler zones first working our way across the zones from coolest to warmest.

When spring shipping begins, we ship in reverse starting with the warmer zones and working our way across to the cooler zones.

Flower Power will see that you receive your fall or spring bulbs in ample time for planting.

Let’s get at it. Happy Planting!

 

 

 

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School Gardens

Thinking about building a garden for your school? Great idea! The benefits of adding a school garden are numerous and profound! Some of those include changing eating habits, improving test scores, connecting children to the environment, helping fight childhood obesity, promoting physical activity and changing attitudes towards learning.
All in all, school gardens are a great opportunity for fun and physical activity while serving as an important educational tool to help students understand how healthy food is produced.

School garden learning

Our first Lady Michelle Obama has been on a mission to encourage everyone to raise healthier children. One of the action steps she recommends is a school garden that would support all the goals that ‘Lets Move‘ campaign is trying to accomplish.

School garden-Michelle Obama

 

We couldn’t agree more. And with Flower Power you will not only have the bulbs and seeds to build your school garden, you will raise funds for school projects in the process as well!
Flower Power offers 50% profit on every sale you make! And the products are 100% guaranteed!

Flower Power has two programs, the Fall program, which we are currently in, offers ‘Spring Blooming Bulbs’ which you plant in the fall and see blooming in the spring. In the Spring program we offer ‘Summer blooming Bulbs’ and vegetables. From Tomatoes, radishes and lettuce to cucumbers, onions and beets! We also have green beans , carrots, zucchini and squash. For the fruit lovers we offer red strawberries and white strawberries. We also offer seed mixes that attract hummingbirds and butterflies, which can be a great topic of discussion with school children.

As you can see, it’s a ‘win-win’ situation, you build your school garden and raise funds for other projects at the same time.

Don’t forget to check out this checklist for building a school garden.

For more information on Flower Power Fundraising go to http://www.flowerpowerfundraising.com or call us at 1-888-833-1486

If you would like to get started and order Sales Supplies for your fundraiser, click here.

If you would like to build an online fundraiser, click here.

Happy Fundraising and Planting!

How to Plant Summer Flowering Bulbs

How to Plant Summer Flowering Bulbs

Here we are! Spring has finally sprung and we are shipping out all the beautiful bulbs and seeds you have ordered over the winter. They are now ready to be planted in you gardens and pots! How exciting!
You will feel elated when you start planting and visualizing how your garden or home will look once the bulbs start to bloom.
We thought that there would probably be no better time than this to share a few tips on how to plant your lovely summer flowering bulbs.

Summer-flowering bulbs add drama to your garden from late spring right into fall. They are often tall, showy plants that have rich colors and make great cut flowers. Summer flowering bulbs have a way of illuminating borders and creating wonderful container garden displays. And like all bulbs, they are also very easy to grow. Simply put them in the ground and leave them to it!

However, there are some tips you can use to ensure bigger and healthy flowers. We will address planting the gorgeous dahlias our favorite flower here at Flower Power Fundraising, the ever so sweet lilies, the delicate irises, and dramatic gladioli!

Planting Dahlias

 

dahlia

Dahlias are highly productive plants that make great cut flowers. They like any rich soil with good drainage, so dig plenty of compost into the planting hole. You can also add a layer of grit on heavy soils to aid drainage. Dahlias are frost-tender plants, that’s why we start shipping when we are sure there is no longer a risk of frost in your area. Most people start dahlias off in pots indoors. If so, place the pots in a brightly lit spot and keep the soil moist. If you wish to plant dahlias directly in the ground, which is less work, bear in mind that they will flower a little later. You can also plant dahlias in containers. Use large, deep pots and general purpose compost. Add a slow-release fertilizer and plant as normal.
Pinch out the growing tips back to a pair of leaves once the plants are around 40cm high. This makes the plant bushy and encourages vigorous flowering.

Planting Lilies

lilies
Lilies add something special to the garden and thrive in pots and borders.Our Star Gazer lily has been a best seller for several years! They need a sunny spot and rich soil that doesn’t get waterlogged. Plant the bulbs as soon as you get them because they die if they become dehydrated. Lily bulbs need planting very deeply, up to three times the height of the bulb itself. If you want to grow them in pots, choose tall, deep containers and plant closer together than normal. The best flower displays come when the plant’s stem and flowers grow in full sun, but the bulbs are kept cool and shaded. Plant them deeply and add a mulch, or grow ground-cover plants around them.
Lilies are hungry plants and will need regular feeding. Add a high-potassium fertilizer like tomato feed every two weeks. Continue feeding after they have finished flowering to swell the bulbs for next year’s display. Stake tall lilies to stop the stems snapping in the wind. Tie them to garden canes with soft twine and loosen the ties when needed.

Planting Irises

dutch Iris mixed
Again, Irises like Dahlias are frost tender plants. You don’t have to worry about that because before we ship the summer flowering bulbs we make sure your state will no longer get frost, so it’s safe to plant irises once  you receive them. Irises are technically rhizomes, which is a clump of fleshy root. This means they should be planted near the soil surface, rather than deep underground like traditional bulbs.
Place the rhizomes just on the surface and cover the little roots with a soil. Position the crowns of moisture-lovers just below the ground.
Irises do not like to be crowded, so follow the spacing directions on the packet and avoid surrounding them with dense planting.
Irises need to be left exposed to sunlight after flowering – this is how they develop flowers for the following year. You can either remove the leaves when they wilt or leave in place for frost protection.

Planting Gladioli

gladiolus
Gladioli corms prefer light, sandy soils in full sun. You can add plenty of coarse grit if you have heavy soil, and line the bottom of the planting hole with a layer of grit too. You can also enrich the soil with a low-nitrogen fertilizer, but make sure it is well mixed in or it could burn the corms.
Plant the corms deeply (10-15cm) and leave plenty of space between them. Plant even more deeply on loose, sandy soils to stop plants being uprooted by the wind.
Keep well-watered, especially once the foliage appears. Apply a layer of mulch around plants in dry weather. Unless they are supported by surrounding plants, tall gladioli varieties will need staking.
If you are growing gladioli for cutting, plant a few corms every couple of weeks for a continuous supply. Cut the stems when the bottom flower bud is opening and the rest of the buds are showing color.
How to lift and store summer bulbs

Unlike hardy bulbs which are bulbs planted in the fall that bloom in the spring like daffodils and tulips, summer flowering bulbs, get damaged by frost and should be stored indoors over winter. Wait until all the leaves have died down at the end of summer. Lift the bulbs out of the soil with a garden fork, taking care not to damage them. Remove any dead or dying leaves and cut back the leaves or stems to within one inch of the bulb. Leave the bulbs out in the sun to dry out. Then brush all the soil off them. Store the bulbs in mesh bags in the shed or garage. They need air circulation to stop rot setting in. Keep checking the bulbs and remove any that start to rot so you can replant them in spring! Or start a new fundraiser and get a fresh new batch of different flowers 🙂

Happy planting everyone 🙂

 

Fall Bulbs and Spring Bulbs

Fall Bulbs and Spring Bulbs

When fundraising with flowers, it is important to know when to plant the bulbs and when to expect them to grow. We thought we would address this topic to make it easier for everyone to understand and plant successfully.

We will start with a little background information.

What is a Bulb?

The word “bulb” is used to describe plants growing from an underground mass of food storage tissues. In other words, the storage tissue is like the bulb’s lunch box, packed with enough food for the whole growing season!

Bulbs are divided into two categories based on when they bloom.

Spring-flowering bulbs, such as daffodils and tulips, are planted in the fall.
Those are the bulbs you buy during the Fall fundraiser which starts in May and ends in October. You will eventually plant those bulbs in the fall and expect them to bloom in the spring, hence the name ‘Spring Flowering Bulbs‘.

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They are also called hardy bulbs because they survive cold winter conditions. In fact, they need exposure to cold temperatures in order to flower properly. The exact timing for planting hardy bulbs varies by region, but they need to be in the ground before it freezes.
Bulbs develop their roots soon after planting, and then lie dormant during much of the winter. When the weather begins to warm, they draw on that “lunch box” of stored energy to produce leaves and stems, and then flowers. Some bulbs, such as crocus, require fewer cold hours and less warming to bloom, so their flowers emerge in early spring. Others, including tulips, need a longer cooling period and warmer temperatures to emerge, so they bloom later in the spring. The differences among bloom times allow you to plan a bulb garden that will bloom for weeks and weeks!

If hardy bulbs don’t get enough chilling, they may not bloom at all or if they do, their flower stalks may be stunted. Some regions in the United States are too warm to successfully grow hardy bulbs. To find out whether your region is suitable for the bulbs you want to buy, you can head to our website, where we have all the information you need about your zone.
Summer-flowering bulbs, including dahlias and gladiolus, are planted in the spring. Those are the bulbs you buy during the Spring fundraiser which starts in January through till May. You eventually plant those bulbs in May and expect them to bloom in the summer, hence the name ‘Summer flowering bulbs‘.

Bulb Flowers

 

They are tender and do not survive cold winter conditions, so we plant them in the spring after the last chance of hard frost has passed, and enjoy their blossoms in the summer.

After planting, they grow much the same way as spring-flowering bulbs, and produce and store food for next year. Most keep their leaves and continue to photosynthesize until fall temperatures turn cool. In northern climates, gardeners must dig up tender bulbs and store them in a dark place that stays cool enough to keep them from sprouting prematurely. Where winters are warm enough, it’s safe to leave tender bulbs right in the ground. It is important to know the hardiness zone of your bulbs to determine the proper care.
We hope that we were able to shed enough light on the bulbs you buy during the Fall Fundraiser (Spring Flowering Bulbs) and Bulbs you buy during the Spring Fundraiser (Summer Flowering Bulbs). If you have any questions, please let us know! We have experts who can help you, not only with your fundraiser, but also with your gardening!

Happy Fundraising!