Spring is coming March 20th and it is long overdue. It has been months of cold and dark and people are tired of this weather. Here are some tips to start to consider to give you something to look for.
Potted Snapdragons, marigolds, petunias, violas, and dianthus can handle cool days. This means you will find them at your local garden center. You can pot them up now with success. Veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, kale and onions will also do fine. Wait for warm days for impatiens, basil and tomatoes to pot up.
Potted vines offer vertical solutions for color, fragrance and shade on patio walls, and garden fences. They look lovely when draped over the side of most planters to add a new dimension. Good choices are jasmine, honeysuckle and cross vines. They are colorful and very fragrant.
Now is the time to shop for roses to plant in our garden containers. When placed on a patio or porch they offer stunning beauty and wonderful scents. You can find bare root selections now. By planting them early you encourage good root development. Be sure and add organic matter in the soil to help with drainage and improve fertility.
Lastly, if you have potted up some cool season grasses in your garden planters to get you thru the winter months, now is the time to fertilize those planters to help promote grow thru the warmer months ahead. Bluegrass, ryegrass and others all love the types of fertilizers that are made for their particular types.
Try to get some of these fall garden chores done before winter arrives. If you spend the time to do these chores now then you will be well on the way for a Spring garden that will shine! These aren't hard garden chores to do but just simple things that will make your garden easier to manage.
Clear out all dead or dying plants, flowers or shrubs. Cleaning up dead leaves and flower head is easy to do and so important. Dead plants attract bugs and other unwanted pests. These pests like slugs are always looking for a warm spot to weather the winter so keep dead plants and leaves up off the soil and ground. Also now is the time to deadhead any remaining plants in your garden pottery that are still growing. Clean around the top of the pots taking out leaves and weeds that may have grown. Keeping everything clean is good for your garden and planters.
If you see any sick or dead plants take them out. Don't leave anything that will attract bugs. Don't compost them but toss them in the trash. If your potting soil looks spent toss it out and clean out the pot for next year. Don't keep soil that may have had diseased plans in them or show any kind of weeds or pests. If you are keeping the soil then clean it up taking out any dead object and cover with rocks, pot toppers or hay. This will keep the soil in good condition for next Spring plantings. Plan on adding some fresh soil next season.
Now is the time to bring in any pots that won't survive being outside for Winter. Move all fragile garden pots to the garage. If that isn't an option then move under eves next to the house and cover with a tarp. Not an option, cover the soil with hay, rocks, broken pots materials or anything that will help to keep water from getting inside the pot and freezing. The frozen water is what causes the cracks.
Any remaining decorative garden items can now be stored and put away. Clean everything up so that you will have a fresh start next year. Many painted items don't like the cold freezing weather and could have flaking or fading issues so take them inside.
Lastly, take a final look over. Clean up any thing you may have second thoughts about. Know in your heart that the next planting season will come soon enough and all the work you are doing know will pay off.
Now that the Month of May is upon us, are you wondering what needs to be done in the yard or garden? We have a few suggestions!
By now you should have at least one potted cacti around your home or garden area. We love the agave because they are easy to grow in garden pots, they fit into traditional and contemporary landscape designs and they are easy to grow. This may you should get a long handled saw and some heavy gloves, remove dried leaves from around the bottom of the plant and use the saw to prune back any growth not wanted. Basically just clean them up. This prepares them for upcoming growth spurts!
It's that time again to refreshen up all your garden pots. Ease overgrown plants out of their containers and root prune them. Then replant them in the same vessels filled with fresh potting mix. Or better yet, move them to new larger containers and use new soil mix. This is the time of year to transport healthy plants to new homes.
Every thought about trying a strawberry plant. We'll we have the strawberry pot that works perfect. Made of real terracotta clay they come in 6 pocket, 9 pocket and 12 pocket pots. Place a strawberry starter plant in each pocket.
These pots contain the plants wondering roots and keeps them from getting out of control and taking over your garden. Alpine strawberry plants are available now and they are super flavorful. They produce fruit from Spring to Fall.
Lastly, this is the time to sow seasonal color from seeds. Or if you are into transplants from the local nursery now is the time to purchase them and pot them for color on your patio or in your garden area. Flowers like ageratum, coreopsis and gaillardis are beautiful and easy to grow in garden planters. And, don't forget, to feed potted citrus trees with a citrus fertilizer to promote good fruit development now. We love these potted also!
This is not the time of year to give up on your garden area and patio planters. We would like to make a few suggestions on some simple things that need to be done and should be done to help keep things looking lovely.
Start by filling existing planters or new containers with succulents and cacti. Pick from the wide variety available and create some interesting displays. The local nursery in your area should have plenty to choose from. Remember to mulch the top soil with fine gravel, faux rocks or garden mulch to help them survive thru the cold winter months. Do not plant in a terracotta clay pot that will absorb moisture and crack if exposed to freezing temps.
Order pre-cooled bulbs that are shipped this month or next. You can order them online or check with your local landscape company to see if they supply them. You can force them to bloom by the holidays or store them in soil, a garden pot and in the dark so that they are ready to go next Spring. They come in so many different color and styles that it's fun to experiment with different looks each season. The paper whites are the most popular for the holidays but check out the suppliers to see if something new has arrived on the scene.
Christmas Cactus with orange, pink, red, white or yellow blooms, will flower this month. Grow this long lived houseplant in bright indirect sunlight. When it's flowering, water and feed it weekly with liquid cactus and succulent fertilizer. Always start with a stunning glazed container that will compliment the blooms and add color and warmth to your home, especially during these cold, dark winter months.
Because it gets dark so early in the evenings, now is the time to line walkways and garden paths with outdoor lighting, garden luminaries or lanterns. You can even use paper bags, filled with sand and place a tealight candle inside for special occasions or holiday celebrations. Also, think about giving gifts that are alive and lasting. Potted herbs, topiaries and terrariums are all popular and easy to do. Browse your local book store garden section. There are many new coffee table books this time of year and idea packed books for next season. Collect some fresh ideas for containers, and plant materials to try out next year.
Decorate with natural materials collected from your own yard. Branches, cuttings and twigs make great swags, and wreaths. Combine silvery foliage and add depth and beauty. Lots of pods, pine cones and nuts are great for filling empty garden plants with and they look decorative and festive. Plant butter head and romaine lettuce seedlings for salads thru winter. Use clay pot and keep in a sunny indoor window. Easy and fun!
This time of year is fun in the garden because of the bright colors of green and red that you are working with. You may think it is time to slow down for the winter but you are wrong. There are still plenty of things you can do to make sure that your garden planters & area will still look lovely but that you can be prepared for next Spring. Here are a few suggestions.
Add these bright Viola blooms to containers and flowerbeds to allow roots to become established before colder weather sets in. Set transplants in a sunny spot in rich well-drained soil When planting in garden containers and planters, good drainage is very important. Other flowers you can plant as companions include snapdragons, sweet Williams, calendulas, and sweet alyssums. Mix in fun things like cabbage, kale or parsley to complement to blooms. Feed plants with fertilizer. Simple and easy to do!
Now is the time to divide your perennials. Whether in pots or the ground, dig up and divide your daisies, irises, hostas and daylilies. A garden fork is the perfect tool for this. Set divided plants back into the pots or soil a the original growing depth, water and cover with garden mulch. All hand tools are perfect for using in potted garden containers.
With the holidays approaching, fragrant paper white bulbs are favorites this time of year. These easy bulbs are so eager to grow that they don't even need to be planted in soil or a planter. Select a low profile glazed pot. It can be round or square even rectangle. Make sure it has a saucer that fits.
Fill it part way with pebbles and then arrange the bulbs on top of the pebbles. You may need to add a few more pebbles to add extra support to the bulbs. Then add water so that it comes up to the base of the bulbs. The flowers should appear in 3 to 6 weeks.
Are your trees sharing their leaves with you? I bet your yard is covered. Piles of leaves can become we blankets after rains. You don't want them to smother your grass or land on your potted plants and smother them. Rake them from your lawn regularly and pick them off the pots. Gather them and bag them. They will make great compost next spring and they will add nutrients to your potted soil.