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If you’ve been fantasizing about beautiful floral colors just outside your door, now is the time to put those dreams into action. Spring is here and there’s never been a more perfect time for getting outdoors and updating your curb appeal for a fresh post-winter look ensuring beautiful floral colors everywhere you look come June.
If it’s bounty for the dinner table you’re after, herb and vegetable gardens are perfect for planting in the spring. You can enjoy their offerings just in time for your first summer bbq. Choose vegetables that you can seed directly into the ground or into containers, such as peas, beans, radishes, carrots, lettuce, and swiss chard.
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to having the best garden in the neighborhood in no time at all:
1. Consider the soil
Our winter wasn’t unusually harsh this year but gathering tree limbs that need to be removed and other remnants of the previous season will start you off on the right foot. Get rid of last year’s perennial foliage – but make sure to save it for the compost pile (see tips below).
2. Tune your engines
3. Ready your trees and shrubs
Get rid of the dead, damaged or diseased branches from trees and plants. After they flower, prune down any existing trees and shrubs that bloom.
4. Test your soil
Get your new beds ready with four inches of compost or rotted manure and cultivate it ten to twelve inches below the surface. Remember you may want to switch it up. It’s not always about where you planted last year, but also where the best place to plant is right now.
5. Get planting
You’ve plotted and prepped now the fun begins. Perennials, bare rooted trees and shrubs need to get in the ground early in the season. Experts advise (and common sense dictates) us to plant on cloudy days that are cooler rather than hotter, sowing cool season gems into the earth such as poppies, calendula and sweet peas as well as lettuce, spinach and parsley.
6. Plot out the planting
Place the bulbs at their exact recommended depth for longevity. As a rule, the bottom of the bulb should rest at 2.5 times depth compared to the bulb’s diameter. We are blessed with sandy soil in places and if that’s the case or If the soil is dry, experts advise to go one or two inches deeper to keep the rodents from snacking on your garden.
7. Garden in spades
Your flowers will look better in groups so use a spade, not a bulb planter. Spades make it easy to plant in groups digging wide, curving trenches and placing the bulbs at the bottom.
8. Group in pairs
You can put different bulb types in the same hole for companion blooms or even to create successions of blooms.
9. Keep your grounds fertile
Use fish emulsion, and other soil enhancements anytime new growth appears.
10. Create a compost
Let nature work her magic. If you don’t already have one, now is the best time to start a compost pile to help you clean up your garden and fertilize it later. Plant debris and leaves go in first followed by grass clippings, weeds and water in layers.
Follow these steps and you’ll be thanking us in May and throughout the summer. But for now…You’re welcome!
Of course, there are rules to gardening—like when and where to plant what—and our local garden center experts are a great resource to guide you on your way to beautiful, lush plantings:
Matts Farm Market – social distancing (732) 449-5600
Holly Brook Farms – social distancing (732) 449-1316
Please check websites, where available, for hours and services during COVID-19.