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Frugal Landscaping- Take Advantage of Clearance Perennial Sales!

Although we have made many happy landscaping discoveries this summer (Peonies, Iris, Lilacs, Snowball Bush, Rose of Sharon and more!) at our new homestead, the front landscaping around the house and deck had been completely neglected by the previous owners. With all of the other projects going on throughout the spring and early summer, I too, neglected it. BUT, the good news is-  it's not too late to get your flower beds ready for next year, and it's a great time to save money by purchasing Clearance perennials at your local home and garden store!

Choosing perennial flowering plants and bushes will save money in the long run over-all, but are often 2-3 times the price of annuals up front when purchased in season. However, most species of perennials can be easily divided after their blooming cycle and planted safely in late summer even in northern climates (we're on the cusp of zones 5/6 here). 

A few weeks ago I purchased Asiatic and Day Lilies, which were normally $12.98 per pot for $5.00 each on clearance. (The Asiatics had 3 stems per pot, and I was able to divide the Days into 7 individual stalks). They were still in bloom, so I let them sit on the deck til the blooms died back. Here's how:

1. Roll the pots along a hard surface pressing firmly to loosen root systems as much as possible. (These plants will most certainly be root-bound.)

2. Take a very sharp knife and carefully slice between individual stalks/stems to divide, making sure each stalk/stem has several roots attached. 

3. Plant individual stalks/stems as directed on the ID card or as instructed by a reliable information source online.

4. Heavily mulch around the plants and keep them very well watered as they establish their new root systems. (If you live in a cool climate with snow/below freezing temps, use your fallen leaves in Autumn to deep mulch around your new plants to protect the new root systems through frost and snow).

I have used this method in the past to divide both purchased and established plants, and have had excellent results. You may dig up your establishes lilies, pampas grasses, etc to re-landscape areas of your homestead  as well!

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Comment by Kirsten Madaus on August 23, 2013 at 8:20am


Thanks for the advice on dividing lilies.  I picked up some hibiscus last year on clearance and they are glorious this summer.  At my folks' community garden, people frequently set out perennials they no longer want in the Help Yourself area, and I get some new plants that way too.

Comment by Carrie Seal-Stahl on August 24, 2013 at 8:20pm

Oh, I'd LOVE to find some freebies, too :) We have so much other work to do here (like insulating the coop, building a greenhouse etc), saving money on  plants/seeds is a huge help!

Comment by Jennifer on September 2, 2013 at 10:12am

Carrie: Such a great tip and how-to. Thank you! Just curious: Have you had much luck with flowering plants other than lilies?

Comment by Carrie Seal-Stahl on September 4, 2013 at 8:20pm

I've done Iris in the past as well, as well as clumps of daisies. You have to dig up the Iris rhizomes and the patches of daisies, but works about the same from there on out ;)

Comment by Jennifer on September 5, 2013 at 3:58pm

Excellent. Thanks, Carrie!


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