Springtime brings natural symphony

We are now in the heart of spring and it is the season to plant most all crops. Your earlier plantings have been showered with early spring rains and night temperatures are rising so that nearly all of our plants will appear to jump out of the ground with new growth.  Over the last month we have enjoyed the symphony of early spring flowers from crocus, daffodils ,forsythia, Bradford pears, tulips ,quince, crabapples, wisteria, lilacs, iris, peach, plum trees and redbud.. Hopefully this annual show of spring has inspired you to add more of this beauty to your yard and landscape. Now is the time to plant trees, shrubs, most all summer vegetables, grass seed and ornamental perennials and annuals.  Since it is the prime planting season your local garden centers and greenhouses will have their largest inventories and selection of the year. It’s a great time to shop for additions to your garden and wonderful time to plant and experience success.

The two biggest trends in gardening the last several years have been the huge surge in home vegetable gardening and the great increase in container gardening. In fact many people are even mixing these trends and growing a fair number of vegetables in container gardens. The interest in vegetables gardens is largely driven by the desire to grow some of your own food, to get the feeling of working with nature, to see your tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squashes and melons develop and then enjoy their fresh, wholesome taste.

The joy of container gardening goes back centuries to old Europe, the Roman and Greek empires and the great dynasties of early China. The popularity of container gardens ebbs and flows over the centuries but always allows certain benefits.  You can move the planted gardens to the front porch or the back patio depending on your planned events or to adjust for higher light of changing seasons. You can grow anywhere, even if you live in an apartment, a condo with little yard area, a home with terrible or damaged soil or you may be planning a move in a few months and don’t want to leave your flowers behind. 

Many people use conventional plastic pots, nursery cans or hanging baskets for their container gardens but now there are literally thousands of choices in decorative ceramic, composite, fiberglass, moss lined wire frames and other objects you can choose to express your individuality and show your design flair with an endless list of choices in plant material.

Make sure to drill a drainage hole or holes in the container before planting .Use a good well drained soil mix. You may want to add some polymer crystals to reduce watering, particularly for hanging baskets which dry out quicker. Remember the larger the container and amount of soil media the more stable an environment for your plants and won’t be as subject to wet and dry extremes.  After planting water thoroughly, then check regularly for when additional water is needed.  Plant now enjoy the symphony of plant glory throughout the growing season.

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