Spring is officially here

Mid April has arrived and we have finally passed our last average freeze date. Today we can announce the kick off of the official spring 2011 tender annual planting season. There are a few really hot blooded crops like caladiums, sweet potatoes and periwinkles or vinca you will usually do best to wait to plant until early May when the temperatures are even warmer.  With those exceptions now is the time to plant all warm season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and many others.  It is a great time to plant most all your colorful annuals or bedding plants from geraniums to marigolds, petunias, begonias, impatiens and zinnias.  This is a wonderful season to locate and plant the biggest selection of perennials and you can select many in bloom so you know what to expect in the future.  It is a great time to plant container grown trees and shrubs and allow them to get rooted in and growing before confronting the punishing heat of our Oklahoma summers.

Often we see something we like and want to plant in our yard but have to wait until the right time for planting. Then we get busy and miss the next planting window.  One nice thing about spring is that if you see something you want to add to your yard you can actually locate that crop and plant most all crops successfully in the springtime. We are blessed with many gorgeous flowering trees and shrubs at this time of year.  If you get inspired by forsythia, quince, wisteria or spirea you can plant them now.  If you are excited by redbuds, flowering crabapples, magnolias, fruit trees or other colorful plants you can visit your local nursery or garden center, select the tree or shrubs you desire and plant away.

It is always a good idea to add sphagnum peat moss, compost or other organic matter to your flower beds or tree planting holes to improve soil aeration, drainage and enhance soil microbial activity.  Remember that we are really dry and your plants will be counting on you to water them thoroughly after planting and regularly during the growing season when we are not getting at least an inch of natural rainfall per week.  Plants in hanging baskets and above ground containers will dry out more often and really must count on you for their water needs.

We all buy and plant most of our plants in containers these days which means we can plant most crops year round.  Garden centers have their biggest plant selection in the spring and the warm days, cooler nights and hopefully a few spring rains usually creates  the perfect environment to help get your plants established and growing.  It is a beautiful season to be outside, so decide what you want to grow and plant away!

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