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Plant Montauk daisies for blooms that last right up until (and even after!) the first frost

Montauk daisies in a field with a grassy area and corn stalks in the background under a blue sky.
kazrock/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Montauk or Nippon daisies are easy to grow and care for and offer great late-autumn color to your garden and landscape.

These flowers are easy to grow and critters tend to leave them alone. Plus, they are late-bloomers and can last after the first light frost.

Those daisies you see blooming right now are probably the last flowering perennial you're going to see this late in the fall.

The Nippon or Montauk daisy looks like a Shasta daisy with white flowers and grows two or three feet tall.

The difference is that daisy doesn't start blooming until September, and then it blooms right up till frost. In fact, it can take a light frost and still keep blooming.

The flower originated in Japan, and the the gardeners in Long Island would grow it down around Montauk, and it's naturalized there.

The Montauk daisy doesn't require much maintenance and is a great late fall flower to grow. You can cut the flowers to bring them indoors as part of autumn decorations, too.

Plant them in full sun on well-drained soil. These flowers don't like soggy or heavy clay soils.

In the spring, you'll find you can perhaps add a little compost and that should suffice for fertilizer. In fact, if you fertilize them too much, they get floppy.

You can also divide them and spread them around your lawn and gardens.

Another great trait of these daisies is that pests, deer and rabbits don't bother them.

Plant this perennial for nice color late in the season and then they'll come back year after year.

Q: What are your suggestions on drying our beautiful hydrangeas that are now in bloom and how to keep their shape and color? - Leslie, in Stowe

The panicle hydrangea is the variety that grows to look like a tree or bush and the flowers have a pink blush to them at first and then fade to a burnt red color.

This variety is very easy to dry. In fact, they dry on the shrub themselves. As soon as they start turning color, you'll notice that the flowers themselves feel kind of papery.

Once they feel dry, you can cut them, then strip off the leaves and bring them indoors. You don't need to put them in water or even hang them upside down. They will be dried and ready to use in flower arrangements.

Q: When we are planting bulbs (flower, garlic, etc), we are told to plant them, for example, two inches deep. Does that mean the top of the bulb or clove should be two inches deep, or the base of the bulb? - Lisa, in Randolph

When it comes to planting bulb depth, the bottom of the bulb is what should be at the recommended depth.

Bulb depth is not as much of an issue if you are planting smaller bulbs like crocuses and psyllas because they're not that big and if you plant them shallower, they will be okay.

For bigger bulbs like daffodils, it is important to get them to the right depth. Also, concerning planting depth, keep in mind that if you have heavy clay soil, you'll want to plant a little shallower. If your soil is sandy, plant bulbs a bit deeper.

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All Things Gardening is powered by you, the listener! Send your gardening questions and conundrums and Charlie may answer them in upcoming episodes. You can also leave a voicemail with your gardening question by calling VPR at (802) 655-9451.

Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition Sunday with VPR host Mary Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35.

Have questions, comments or tips?Send us a messageor get in touch by tweeting us @vprnet.

Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered.
Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.