The past few days have been emotionally exhausting. My heart aches for Boston. Like many of you, I've been glued to the news for answers. Why? How? I had to step away from the talk radio and the TV for a break and it feels selfish saying that since so many people don't have that luxury. To just turn it off. To step away. They're mourning and grief stricken and my prayers are with them.
I've found some solace in my garden the past few days. We've been working on some landscaping projects which include two new trees, six new rose bushes, three hydrangea and a handful of azalea. It seems the Masters always encourages me to throw a few more azaleas in the ground. I gathered a few tips for planting and caring for azaleas and I thought I'd share them today. That's the thing I've come to love about gardening. You share, you grow and you leave the world a brighter place.
- Plant azaleas with the top of the root ball just slightly above the soil level.
- When watering, wet both the soil and the foliage since azaleas absorb moisture through both the ground and their leaves.
- In spring, after blooms fade, fertilize with acid-forming fertilizer like Hollytone.
- Don't worry about mulching in the fall. It might cause heat to remain in the soil, delaying dormancy and increasing the chance for winter damage.
- Azaleas enjoy filtered sunlight and regular watering.
- Prune time is critical! The best time to prune is within 3 weeks after blooming so that the plant has plenty of time to make buds for next year.
- When planting azaleas, create visual interest by layering colors and various types.