How Does Your Garden Grow?

Tips to make your Garden State garden flourish.

New Jersey residents are a diverse bunch, and so are our garden conditions. With widely varying soil and weather, we’re faced with a little bit of everything—and it can be a challenge.

Longtime gardener and lecturer Vincent Simeone digs into that challenge in New York & New Jersey Getting Started Garden Guide (Cool Springs Press, 2015), a handbook about more than 150 plants, flowers, trees and shrubs for our unique environment.

“I created a guide that points to the plants that not only tolerate our climate, but thrive,” he says. In the book, Simeone addresses harsh maritime conditions, drought, environmental extremes and a range of soils.

“The key is to be patient, amend your soils with compost if needed, use mulch and proper watering techniques, and use superior varieties of plants,” Simeone says.
The book has 208 pages and handy color photos for reference. As we approach the dog days of summer, there are still key gardening tasks to tackle, Simeone suggests.

His to-do list:
•    Deadhead spent flowers on perennials, roses, hydrangeas and other garden plants
•    Lightly prune back shrubs to shape or shear hedges
•    Train vines up a trellis or fence
•    Fertilize annuals and containers with an organic,
slow-release fertilizer
•    Plan your fall garden with specific ideas of bulbs and perennials

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