We have a four year start on an active perennial garden area. Each year we have been planting herbs and fruit, adding more plants to the original garden. The present garden includes asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, and herbs - like dill, oregano and thyme. The garden also has two plum trees and two apple trees. This area must be maintained with aggressive weeding as well as thinning out several of the perennials. Whatever decisions we make for the 2015 garden production, we must care for this area or lose the quality of the plants and their production.
The asparagus patch can be the pride and joy of a gardener. However, if it is not kept free of weeds and grasses the roots will not prosper. The roots are the future of the plants, and the plant's strength creates the asparagus spears for future years. Additional new asparagus plants each year will also create an ever-flourishing asparagus patch. Ongoing maintenance is a must. Strawberries want to spread it's long finger-like stems. Often these can become too thick and cause more vegetation and less fruit bearing. Each year it is important to ensure that the extensions have a place to plant themselves into the ground for future strawberry production. Without this yearly maintenance the strawberry plants will have limited production.
Rhubarb plants can get too heavy in their central core area. When this happens, the stocks do not get the root room needed, and the plant cannot produce quality rhubarb stocks, Maintenance by thinning the stocks is a necessary part of summer care for rhubarb.
Maintenance must be a part of herb production. Herbs need room to grow and expand. Several herb types tend to multiply and require constant thinning. These include dill, oregano, and mint, as examples. These herbs can take over every part of your garden and require ongoing thinning.
Fruit Trees require maintenance for branch strength, fruit production and protection from natural insects, animals and the weather.
More on these important maintenance tasks in the future. What perennials are you planning for your garden in 2015?