Time To Plant Away!

Time to plant! We have passed our last average freeze date in central Oklahoma and we are into the heart of the spring planting season where you can plant trees, shrubs, perennials, color annuals and most warm season vegetables with reckless abandon. The seven day forecast is looking good with our low temperatures in the high forties and so we can plant most everything except real hot blooded plants like caladiums, periwinkle, watermelons, cantaloupe and sweet potato vines which usually do best if we wait to plant until May first or after when we are consistently above fifty degrees. The mid-April story is what we can plant – not what we can’t plant. Now that freezes and frost should be off the table, the sun is getting brighter and every day is getting longer and it is time to plant away!

We usually have about a seven month growing season so the sooner you plant the longer you can enjoy your vegetables and annual color plants.   Plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, summer squash, sweet corn, okra, pumpkins and lima, pole and green beans now to get the longest harvest season. Although you can plant container grown perennials most any time this is one of the best times to plant perennials as they produce their surge of spring growth. The selection of available perennials at your local garden centers is usually best during this spring season and more limited at other times of the year. We see more gardeners interested in native plants and pollinator plants. They also can be planted over many months but the selection will be best over the next few weeks at your local nursery or garden center.

The main color in our gardens and decorative containers usually comes from annuals and we have a huge and growing palette of annuals to choose from as you color up your home and landscape. Shady and part shady areas will come to life with impatiens, begonias, coleus, torenia (wishbone flower), browallia, alyssum, lobelias, geraniums and countless other options.

Our choices in annuals for sun have been expanding rapidly in recent years with accelerated plant exploration and breeding. Some of the main sunny color annuals for Oklahoma include celosia, petunias, lantana, ageratum, angelonia, portulaca or rose moss, verbena, zinnia and marigolds. Part of the fun of spring planting is spring plant shopping and selecting some new plants to trial or plant. It is always good to plant more of the plants you have done well with and enjoyed hosting in your yard in the past but please consider trying some new plant varieties as well. You may discover a new favorite plant! Have fun planting your yard and use it as a way to express yourself. You can plant large blocks of a single type of plant to create a mass impact or plant combinations of plant types and colors to create more of a meadow effect. Do think about the height, different plants will grow to, and the light requirements or tolerance of plants as you select their new home in your yard. Use your imagination and plant away!

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