Ensuring a Healthy and Beautiful Spring Garden
Normally, this is the time of year when you see the first hints of spring – greening grasses, tiny buds on trees and flowers, and the first hints of pollen. This year, that’s already well past us.
The spring of 2023 will go down as the one that arrived perhaps earlier than any other in recent memory – so much so that late March looks more like late April in terms of temperatures and foliage.
That said, you may be wondering if it’s already too late to follow your normal spring pattern of planting and fertilizing. And the answer is no. Just because the winter weather broke particularly early does not mean that you need to radically alter spring gardening patterns. However, you may also be wondering what to do with the plants in your yard that have not yet visibly bounced back from the historically low temperatures we experienced in December.
With all that in mind, let’s look at some simple steps you can and should take to ensure the healthiest and most beautiful garden and lawn possible for the rest of spring and early summer.
Remain patient with damaged plants
Back in January, we discussed (https://www.hughesturf.com/extreme-cold-and-plants/) what December’s multi-day, single-digit temperatures did to the health of many of the plants in your yard. And while some of your plants may have survived just fine, others took a visible hit.
Some of those plants that did show visible signs of damage may have already begun to bounce back. But many more may still look poorly – in fact, some of them may look downright dead. However, looks can be deceiving. And just because a plant looks unhealthy does not mean that it is past recovery.
Therefore, we counsel that you give all the plants – at least the established plants – in your yard just a little more time to display that they are on the mend. (It takes a year for perennials and shrubs to establish, two or more for trees.)
That doesn’t mean you have to sit with an ugly plant for the rest of the summer, but you should see signs of recovery by the third week of April. And those signs should include new growth. If, by then, the plant still looks dead or dying, it’s probably time to cut your losses and remove and/or replace it.
Helping the recovery process
In the meantime, there’s something you can do for all of the plants in your yard that will boost their verdancy and give them the best base for a full recovery: fertilizing.
Back in the winter, fertilizing damaged plants was not advisable, but now that spring is here, this is the time to spread a small amount throughout your yard.
NOTE: Do not over-fertilize, and make sure you use the right mix!
The best balance to use this spring is a common, all-purpose 10-10-10 mix. That means it has equal numbers of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (also known as NPK).
Remember that when you apply fertilizer, only a little will do. We recommend 2 tablespoons per established plant. Utilize this amount once a month throughout the spring, and you will give your plants a leg up during the growing season.
What if you do need to plant anew?
What happens if, worse come to worse, your plants didn’t make it? Or what if you’re simply looking to add new plants to your lawn and garden? Well, now is the time to do it, as we look to be well past the chances of any hard freezes – certainly any temperatures that will freeze the ground and shock root systems that are attempting to establish themselves.
That being the case, you may wonder, what are the best plants to, well, plant?
- Black-Eyed Susans – This daisy-like, bright yellow (with a black-eyed center) flower loves full sun best but can survive in partial sun (though it won’t flower as much).
- Gladiolus – In the iris family, this beautiful flower blooms off a tall, spike growth and is a perennial. They also love full sun.
- Hydrangeas – Yes, they are popular throughout north Georgia, and that’s for a reason. Beautiful and easy to care for, they can thrive in partial sunlight and come back year after year.
- Marigolds – Resembling a gorgeous sunset, this annual loves the sun at full peak, and you’ll love it too.
- Morning Glories – Fragrant and striking in hues of pink, red, blue, and white, this flower is also drought tolerant and loves full sun. (Beware, their seeds are toxic, so keep them away from pets.)
- Pansies – Easy to find at any home improvement store or nursery, these multi-colored annuals are very easy to grow and love full sunlight.
- Petunias – Bright and cheerful, this flower needs at least 5-6 hours of sunlight to truly thrive – and you’ll be glad when it does.
- Sunflowers – You know what these cheerful blooms look like. But did you know that they have both annual and perennial varieties and that they can detox soil? That’s right, sunflowers can provide “phytoremediation,” which is a process by which plants remove and/or destroy contaminants in soil.
- Zinnias – Butterflies love this annual that comes in a wide range of colors. To thrive, this plant also requires full sun.
These are just a few examples – and easy ones at that – for you to plant this spring, flowers that are guaranteed to brighten up any yard and increase your enjoyment of one of the best times of the year to enjoy being outside.
Follow these steps, and you’ll set yourself up for a spring of enjoying a healthy, beautiful garden and lawn. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about the state of the plant life on your property, lawn, or garden, we are always ready to step in and provide you with an expert opinion and to help you create the look and feel of exactly what you want. We can also help you design the perfect look and feel for your garden and/or lawn.
For years, our experienced and professional guidance has created the perfect balance of beauty and function for home and business owners around north Georgia – and we’re always happy to help new clients to do the same. Contact us today at 678-617-1962 – or email us at email@example.com – and let us create the perfect plant life on your property.