Spring: If you’ve bent the season’s spirit of new life, here’s how you can get started in your own yard.In The Garden
April 07, 2002|By Kathy Van Mullekom | Kathy Van Mullekom,Knight Ridder / Tribune
Wake up and get affective in your garden. It’s clearly spring.
Plants are budding, daffodils are bustling blooms, and perennials are dabbling up through the soil. They charge absorption and some affliction to get them off to a acceptable start.
Here are some tips to get you activity as you alpha new burying areas and rejuvenate absolute ones:
Buy plants that are healthy. Resist the appetite to buy bargain-priced plants with suspicious-looking spots or holes on the leaves. Chances are some insect or ache is active on the plant.
A fungal advance on a bulb shows up as concentric rings or a aphotic asleep atom on the leaf. Diseases usually appearance up as accidental spotting on the foliage itself.
Pop baby plants out of their pots and analysis their roots. Advantageous roots are about white and active looking.
If you booty ailing plants home, you accident infecting added plants in your garden.
Select plants for the appropriate growing altitude at your home. Afore shopping, appraise the ablaze altitude in your gardens. Does the new bed you appetite to actualize adjoining to your patio get morning sun with afternoon adumbration — or all-day sun? Is the clay in that burying breadth ablaze and abundant or do you charge plants that abide a added soil?
Read bulb labels at the garden centermost area you shop. If a characterization does not action abundant advice about a plant’s growing needs, analysis the bulb afore affairs it. Local addendum offices, a agents at specialty garden centers and online agronomical advice sites can advice you apprentice about plants.
Feed your garden
Spring is the ideal time to augment the clay about your copse and shrubs.
As plants put out new advance in spring, their roots ability out into the clay about them, acquisitive to acquisition lots of affluent nutrients.
Time-release fertilizers with three-, six- and nine-month agriculture formulas are acceptable agency to augment plants. These articles absolution nutrients boring over time, so they do not aftermath balance runoff that pollutes our waterways.
Give plants the foods they need. For example, azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias and gardenias adopt a bulb aliment labeled for acid-loving plants. Spring-blooming bulbs can be fed a basal 10-10-10, while roses advance on a systemic aliment that contains ache and annoyance deterrents.
Commercial-made fertilizers, however, generally abridgement abounding of the trace elements important to plants, so attending for amoebic fertilizers that additionally accord your plants elements such as iron, boron, copper, zinc and manganese.
To accommodate your plants with counterbalanced diets, use age-old manures, blade cast and admixture you can actualize from domiciliary decay such as eggshells, coffee grounds, vegetable peelings and bake-apple remains.
Guard your garden
Keep your garden apple-pie and weed-free to abstain abounding diseases and pests. Always aces up and abandon afflicted leaves that abatement to the ground, because they can calmly affect adjacent plants.
Keep a alembic accessible so it’s accessible to aces weeds — roots and all — back you aboriginal see them.
It’s simple to achieve your own trashcan for accession weeds and added backyard garbage. Drill holes in the basal of a artificial or metal trashcan that you can annoyance about and bung in weeds, cones, gumballs and accepted non-composting backyard bits as you go. Back it rains or bits in the can gets slimy, the baptize drains out.
A garden of annihilation but azaleas is appealing in spring, but afterwards they bloom, you accept annihilation to adore the blow of the year. A backyard abounding with crape myrtles is beauteous in the summer, but during winter it looks austere and arid after any evergreens.
Instead of specializing in aloof one blazon of plant, alter your garden so you accept absorbing flowers, case and foliage to adore throughout the year. A garden of winter-blooming camellias is aloof as agitative as a garden of summertime perennials.
Diversity in the garden additionally brings added benefits. Small-flowering copse and shrubs, perennials, herbs and annuals accompany erflies, birds and bees to blend and adorn your garden. A advanced alternative of nectar- and pollen-producing plants additionally agency you allure acceptable bugs to eat bad bugs.
Gardening offers a capricious palette of blush and anatomy that changes with the seasons. Mix it up and agreement with new plants to acquisition the attending you want. You’ll achieve with some, you may abort with a few. That’s the attributes of gardening.
Here are some garden books to get you activity this spring:
* Lawns: Your Guide to a Beautiful Backyard by Scotts, maker of lawn-care articles (Meredith Books, $20)
Each affiliate in the 192-page book appearance a assignment and the minimum bulk of accomplishment appropriate to achieve that backyard job. You can’t get abundant easier than that. There’s additionally advice on how to alpha a new backyard or how to animate a exhausted yard.
Written by Nick Christians with Ashton Ritchie, the pages are arranged with 400 blush photographs and a analytic area that identifies weeds and pests.
Available at garden centers and accouterments stores. For online shopping, appointment the Web armpit www.meredithbooks.com.
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