Think Spring Now – And I Mean It!

By on 6 November, 2010 in Gardening, Mark Montoya, Outdoors with 0 Comments

You may not believe me, but now is the time to plant flowers and bulbs for a beautiful garden this coming spring. Other than pansies, there are a lot more flowers to consider planting now. Here are some bedding plants that will be fully grown, hardier and flower longer if you plant now:

FOXGLOVE: There are two selections available. Foxy Mix and Pam’s Choice both need good soil and sun.

SWEET WILLIAM: This is a variety of dianthus with a longer flower stem. They smell wonderful and the colors are charming.

MUSTARD: Giant green purple foliage will look great in pots. The flowers in the late spring are bright yellow.

SNAPDRAGONS: There are two types of snaps. You can plant the trailing ones with violas in hanging baskets now and the baskets will be super looking all winter. Just remember that when the weather is freezing you must take baskets down and mulch around them.

HOLLYHOCKS: Wow! I love them, but the last two summers have made them a real challenge. After you plant them start a regimen of adding systemic insecticide to prevent rust, aphids, and powdery mildew.

BULBS, AND MORE BULBS: You must act on these ASAP. I get primo quality and great prices from VAN ENGELEN. They have end of season specials now. If you call for a catalog they may be out of some items by now since all the bulbs come from Holland. Their number is 860-567-8734.

WILDFLOWERS: Now is the time to broadcast from a mixture in a can if you want to have poppies, bachelor buttons, forget-me-nots, calendula and more. Follow the instructions on the can.

Now is also a good time to divide mums, asters, Echinacea, and Shasta daisies. Hydrangeas need to be fertilized now before the rainy season begins. If you want a deeper blue, add aluminum sulphate into and around the soil and repeat in February.

Most importantly, if you are a gardener you know that you must loosen up your soil and top it off with some fresh, weedless soil…meaning from a bag or SUPER SOIL from Froggy Bottom Materials, located on Wares Ferry Road. Fertilize regularly all winter.

You can have any of the above bedding plants ordered especially for you from Little Mountain Growers on McGehee Road. Tell them I told you so, and do it soon, because when Christmas trees come in the week of Thanksgiving, there will total chaos.

OK! It’s time to get busy in your garden. If you have any garden questions I will be glad to answer them in an upcoming article. Get down on your knees and dig in the dirt now for the best looking spring garden now.

Mark Montoya, the Practical Gardener, is a Montgomery native who first learned gardening from his father. He has designed, planted and nurtured gardens in our city’s neighborhoods — both old and new – for twenty years.

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