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Do You Deadhead?

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This might be a personal question but, do you deadhead? I don’t mean ARE you a deadhead.  That is your own business and I do not need to know.

But what I do want to know is, do you take the time to cut the spent (i.e. dead) flowers off your plants?

I have asked a number of people this question and have received all sorts of answers. Most of the time the answer is “no” for a number of different reasons. Almost as often is the confused look followed by, “Do I what?”  Maybe they are concerned I am asking the ARE you a deadhead question.  Many of us are grateful we grew up before the age of smart phones and social media so that our past stays in the past.

Of seasoned gardeners, it seems most deadhead sometimes or selectively depending upon the plant.  But I have met a few dedicated souls who will deadhead anything and everything including their neighbor’s plants if they get the chance.

Why deadhead? Think weed seeds.

Many of your flowering ornamentals (you know, the ones with the with showy flowers) produce flowers for a longer period of time if you remove the spent blooms.  Remember, a plant’s whole purpose to exist, as far as the plant is concerned, is to reproduce.  A properly pollinated flower will produce seed if left alone long enough.  Those seeds will make new plants.  Which is all well and good but if you put the plant in your garden to look at the pretty flowers, then seed production is probably irrelevant to you.  In some cases, seed production is something you want to prevent because each of those seeds has the potential to produce a new plant. Those new plants we often call weeds.

Imagine one dandelion puffball blowing all dandelion those seeds around your yard.  All those seeds from that one dandelion puffball came from only one dandelion flower.  Now think about every flower that grows in your yard. Each of those flowers has the potential of producing seed which could grow into new plants… everywhere.  OK, that sounds a lot more dire than it really is.  But preventing the plant from making seeds by removing the fading flowers from the plant on plants that readily reseed (like petunias, chives, pansies, and many, many more) can save you a lot of work weeding later.

Why deadhead? Think more flowers.

If you remove a dying flower from your plant, that flower cannot produce seed.  But the plant still wants to make seed because that is, for most plants, its one chance to reproduce.  So many plants will grow more flowers to replace the ones you remove that didn’t have the chance to make seeds. The result is more flowers over a longer period of time. And that is a good thing.

How to deadhead.

Each plant has its own unique growing habit and therefore its own way of being deadheaded.  For some plants like petunias, the dead flowers can easily be pinched off with your thumbnail. Dianthus pinches off easily also but it is often easier to dead head by using a small pair of clippers.  Larger plants like Shasta Daisy and Roses should have the flowers removed by carefully clipping the stem just above a leaf node (the part of the stem where the leaves grow).

Come see us at Mingos Nursery & Garden Center and we will help you with all your deadheading questions.

Do you deadhead

Freshly Deadheaded Shasta Daisys

Grilled Cilantro Lime Corn

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Grilled Cilantro Lime Corn

Grilled cilantro lime corn cooked on the grill with some butter and salt. Oh my lawd! Life is good.

Some recipes just sort of happen, like this one. We had corn on the cob languishing in the refrigerator.  Mannie had just started the grill. And I was poking my head in and out of the frig trying to figure out what to cook with the steaks.  If it had been just me, dinner would have been steak and wine. But, since I am trying to set a better eating example than that for my child, and Mannie doesn’t drink wine, I knew I needed at least one vegetable.

I pulled out the package of corn I bought.  Some years we grow corn.  This year we were kinda busy opening Mingos Nursery & Garden Center so a lot of things didn’t get planted.

A brief note about growing corn.

Corn is pretty easy to grow but tends to blow over if not supported.  Farmers and larger scale gardeners take care of the problem of the corn stalks blowing over by planting a LOT of corn in a tight space, often in those tidy rows that make me happy.  I am unable to plant anything in tidy rows, not for lack of trying however.  When planted tightly together, the corn supports itself.  But tightly planted plants of any type can have pest and disease issues that get out of hand before you notice.

When we grow corn we will grow it along a fence where it can be tied back as it gets tall and top heavy or in a spot that is sheltered from the wind.  Corn is also a heavy feeder meaning you want to have a lot of composted organic matter in the soil and even then you may need to feed it regularly with a liquid fertilizer.

But back to the recipe.

So I pulled the corn out of the frig, put it on the counter and sort of stared at it.  Most dinner preparation starts this way for me.  Maybe someday I will learn to plan meals (…doubtful…).  As I was meditating on the corn I noticed the limes on the counter and was inspired.  With cilantro from the garden, some course salt, and a little butter, we have a vegetable dish. Scroll down for the recipe!

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Grilled Cilantro and Lime Corn
Fresh from the garden (or produce department) goodness.
Grilled Cilantro Lime Corn
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Grilled Cilantro Lime Corn
  1. Take a piece of aluminum foil and lay it on the counter. It needs to be big enough to wrap up all four ears of corn for cooking on the grill.
  2. Butter each ear of corn then place the buttered ears in the center of the foil. The buttering does not need to be particularly even.
  3. Spread the chopped cilantro over the top of the buttered ears of corn.
  4. Cut the lime in half and squeeze out all the juice over the ears of corn.
  5. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Wrap the foil around the ears of corn, sealing it up tight to keep in all the liquid. Put on the grill for 10 - 15 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking.
  7. Once it is done cooking, open the foil carefully. That steam in there will burn you. Enjoy!
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Magellan Zinnias

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magellan zinnias

These are Magellan Zinnias.  Are they amazing or what?

Jalapeño peppers are back!

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jalepeno pepper

Jalapeño peppers are back along with basil and many of your other favorite herbs and vegetables!  We’re open Monday – Saturday 9:00 to 5:30 and Sunday 12:00 to 5:30.

Organic and natural garden solutions

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organic natural garden solutions

For all you organic gardeners, Mingos has a large selection of organic and natural garden solutions!  Come see us!

VinegarDry MolassesGarrett JuiceExpanded Shale

All About Onions from Neil Sperry

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all about onions

Did you know that onions are Texas’ leading commercial crop?  They are also very popular in Texas home vegetable gardens – second only to tomatoes.  Learn more about onions and how to grow them in your own backyard in this article by Texas gardening expert, Neil Sperry. read more →

Cold Weather Flowers

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Cold weather flowers

Today should be a perfect day for putting some color in your life! Warm and sunny. We have lots of cold weather flowers you can use to brighten up your porch and patio. Get them in before the next round of wet weather!Cold weather flowers

Gardening gift baskets make great last minute gifts!

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Gift Baskets - Gardening

Looking for a gift for your favorite gardening enthusiast?  Mingos has gardening gift baskets in several different sizes wrapped and ready to go.  We also have great toys, beautiful wind chimes, bird feeders, garden accessories and more. read more →

Mingos Nursery & Garden Center

9744 E. Bankhead Hwy.
Aledo, TX 76008
817-441-MINGOS (817-441-6464)