Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring Garden Tips for May

As I've been working outside last week and this week, I jotted down some tips to share.

-Check out garden centers right now for herbs. Home Depot, Lowes, and other stores with garden centers have good deals on basic herbs such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, mint, and others. I picked up at Pineapple Sage and Bee Balm at a Buy One Get One Free sale this weekend. This is a really good way to start an herb garden for a low cost.

-Remember, if you had a vegetable last season that ended up with wilt, or some other disease, don't use that same space to grow it again. Some of these diseases can lay dormant in the soil and you will have the same problem again.

-If you have any small bushes, trees or perennials, make sure you remove weeds that could use up nutrients and moisture. We just went through and did this, then mulched with composted straw that had been here when we moved in. The previous owner raised horses. You can do this same thing with compost you've made yourself or bought at a garden center.

-Now is the time to plant daylily, peonies, hostas, oriental lilies, irises, and many other perennials. I planted two new types of daylily this afternoon in spots that needed some color.

-Buy violas, pansies and Johnny-Jump-Ups and plant for some pretty spring color while we wait for more blooms. I've learned over the years the best places to tuck them into:

*plant a violas near hostas where they will be shaded later by the large foliage, and add a splash of color.

*Butterfly bushes take some time to grow and bloom, especially in the northern climates. Plant pansies in front, not too close to the base of the bush. They will give you color now, and later will be shaded.

One last reminder: allow your daffodil, tulip and other bulb foliage to die back naturally. Don't cut it off when it's done blooming because that's how the plant stores up nutrients for next year.


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