Carol Hyperlink’s month-to-month gardening ideas


Carol Link
| Contributor

Q: Daffodils grow in several plant beds in my landscape. What time of the year should they be divided and replanted? They are really crowded.

A: The daffodil’s foliage has dried and died and the bulbs have been fed to encourage flowering for the next year. Now is a good time to split them up. Be careful when digging them out. Try not to use your scoop to cut into the onions. After dividing a lump, separate the onions and discard any that appear sick or injured. Plant them right away.

Q: Is it too late in the season to fertilize my azaleas?

A: Azaleas shouldn’t be fertilized this late in the season. Ideally, the shrubs should be fertilized in spring immediately after flowering has ended. During a growing season like this year when it rains a lot, you can fertilize the shrubs a second time, but the recommendation is not to fertilize after August 1st.

Q: Should I prune my blueberry bushes now or should I wait until late winter? Last winter I removed a lot of blueberry flowers while pruning because I had waited so long. We lost fruit through the cut back then.

A: Blueberry plants should be pruned in late winter. At this point, the branches will be easier to see, which will make pruning easier. In addition, pruning when the plant is dormant puts less strain on the plant. If you remove some flowers, some of the fruit will be removed, but the remaining fruit should be larger due to the distance.

Q: One of my crepe myrtle has a couple of large broken limbs. Is it okay to prune the tree now, or should I wait until winter?

A: Any time a tree or shrub has dead, damaged, or diseased wood, the branches should be removed. I would wait for the tree to rest with full pruning.

Q: My rose bushes look really bad because I wasn’t doing well in the spring and they weren’t cut this year. Would it harm them if I circumcised them now?

A: You are right. Your roses should have been cut in late winter or early spring. However, since they are most likely in a sad state, they can now be easily circumcised. Don’t overdo the cut.

Carol (Bonnie) Link is an Etowah County gardener and veteran gardening writer. Her weekly column is designed to help and encourage others with their gardening work. Send questions or comments to