These perennials love the sun

Cora periwinkle has proved to be impressively disease-resistant, floriferous, and drought-proof.

Credit: Walter Reeves

Credit: Walter Reeves

Q: I have a 20-foot-by-3-foot bed that gets hot afternoon sun. Can you recommend perennials for that kind of area? Dawn Range, Loganville

A: Remember that most perennials bloom for only a few weeks each, so you need to put in plants that overlap in their bloom time. I’ll task you with doing that research. Also, for the sake of space, I won’t use Latin names because the following plants are easy to find at garden centers. In my sunniest beds, I have had great success with Cora periwinkle, daylily, coreopsis, Shasta daisy, coneflower, salvia, yucca, dusty miller, creeping Jenny, maiden grass, baptisia, amsonia and sedum. Oriental lily bulbs produce short-lived blooms, but they give a lot of bang for your garden buck. All of these plants tolerate lots of sunshine but appreciate watering when it’s really dry.

Q: What is the best way to save field peas from my garden to plant again next year? Earl Gene Crump, Lilburn

A: The pea seeds need to be completely dry in the pod before you shell them. When your harvest begins to decline, leave some peas on the vine until they are yellow and leathery. At that point, pull the vine and put it in a dry place until the pods are brown and crisp and the peas rattle inside. You can then shell them out and store in a tightly sealed glass jar.

Q: I keep finding small, round, BB-size eggs in the potted flowers on my deck. What are they and will they harm my plants? Lisa Slappey, Decatur

A: The little white balls originally contained fertilizer. To save on labor costs, greenhouse growers fertilize their flowers with products that release fertilizer very slowly. A typical greenhouse fertilizer encapsulates nutrients in small porous plastic balls. Once the fertilizer is gone, only the balls remain. They are not harmful to you or your plants.

Q: Is there any product that I can spray in my vegetable garden to prevent weeds and grass that won’t harm my plants? Jeff Crump, email

A: Nope. There are a couple of granular products that claim to work, but they are not very effective under our Southern garden conditions. The key to garden weed control is “early and often.” In other words, when you see a weed, remove it immediately before it has time to flower and drop seeds. Some weed seeds can remain viable in the soil for two or three years. The more often you stroll through the garden destroying weeds, the less weed work you’ll have to do in the future.

Listen to Walter Reeves’ segments at 6:35 a.m. on “Green and Growing with Ashley Frasca” Saturday mornings on 95.5 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook Fan Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener for more garden tips.