Tag Archives: planting tips

10 Spring Planting Tips #TuesdayTips

Spring is supposedly here, although in NY/NJ it’s hard to tell with the 40 degree temperatures in the morning. Still, some of us have been out there, doing some planting and today I’m sharing some tips.

1. DO NOT LISTEN TO JOHN ELLIOTT ON CBS. I love you John, but you steered me wrong a few weeks ago when you said the plants would be fine outside. Sigh.

Okay, the real first tip is:

1. Don’t rush putting out the plants. Recommended planting date for the Northeast is Memorial Day. You could push it and do Mother’s Day if the weather has been warm for at least two weeks or so.

2. Clean out old leaves and other debris from your beds and pots.

3. Work the soil and loosen it up so you can get some nice aeration for those roots. Add compost or other organic matter and/or fertilizer to enrich the soil. I also work in some cinnamon into the top 2 to 3 layers to avoid fungus gnats. The cinnamon kills the fungus the gnats need to eat to survive. Organic, too!

4. If you’re a beginning gardener, make sure to check out the areas where you wish to plant. Does the area get full sun or is it in shade? Morning sun or afternoon? Once you’ve done that, it’s time to pick some plants.

5. There are lots of plants that can handle colder spring weather. Pansies for one and I love them! Also some other favorites like dianthus and petunias. You can click here for a good list of plants that can take a little cold. You can also plant bulbs the fall before for spring color and then work in annuals once the bulbs are done flowering.

6. Head to the garden shop and pick out the plants. Check their little tags for info on how high they’ll grow, how far apart and sun and water requirements.

7. Time to plant. To make life easier, lay out the pots in the way you want to plant them. It will let you adjust before getting things into the ground. Once you’re satisfied, it’s time to plant.

8. The best time to plant is early morning before the sun is too strong or later afternoon. Planting during the heat of the day will stress out your plants. Make sure the hole you dig is at least 4-6 inches depending on the size of your plant. Also, if there are too many roots around the base of the post, break them up so new roots will grow and spread out. Get rid of those jiffy pots around the plant and flatten them to use as mulch.

9. Water thoroughly so the roots can get established and after watering, mulch around the plants. Leave a little room around the plant free of mulch so it won’t rot and try to get at least 2 to 3 inches of mulch to prevent weeds.

10. Sit back and watch them grow and flower.

Here’s a photo of my daughter’s first garden. We planted it in early April when we had a fabulous spring day. It was fun explaining to her what to do and I gifted her an assortment of daylilies from my yard so she wouldn’t have to replant the entire bed every year.

Tuesday Tip – Spring Gardens

bpgardenI love walking through Bryant Park in the mornings and this morning I got a treat – they were laying out the annuals that they would be planting now that the spring bulbs had finished blooming.

This is a picture of it and for those of you who are not sure about how to layout a garden, here’s the trick they were using this morning — place the plants in their containers where you think you might want them. Step back and take a look from various angles. Rearrange until you think you’ve got it right.

But before you dig — make sure to take one last look at the planting directions on those little plastic markers in the pots. Especially check the height for the plant. You don’t to place something that will grow tall in front of something like pansies or impatiens which generally stay close to the ground.

Another hint — to attract bees and hummingbirds, lean towards pinks, blues and purples.

Give your plants room to grow. Unless you’re gardening in containers (which require different soil mixes and fertilizing), allow 6 to 8 inches between plants. How do you know what’s 6 to 8 inches? Before you head into the garden, measure the distance from the tip of your thumb to the end of your index finger with your fingers outstretched. Use that as your measure in the garden. I know that from tip-to-tip on my hand is 8 inches. That also comes in handy for measuring other things (dirty girls, I was referring to bookshelves, furniture, picture frames, etc.!)

One last hint, while you want some symmetry, remember the odd number rule of composition — odd numbers of objects grouped together work better than even numbers of objects. So, you can balance the ends of your garden with one larger plant, but keep the objects within the gardens into groups of odd number plantings. 3 together is always an easy one and can be accomplished even if you’re planting flowers in rows. Just make sure that the second row is not directly behind the first. The offset will create natural pairings of 3 throughout the garden.

Hope you enjoyed today’s Tuesday Tip!