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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring Flower Gardening

What to Plant This Spring: Flowers

What to Plant This Spring: FlowersIf you’re starting a new flower garden this spring, you may be wondering what season-appropriate blooms you can start in your garden. Here’s a handy list for National Gardening Month that’ll set you on the right track for spring planting!

Pansies. Pansies can be planted in the fall and survive a hard winter, but they also do well when planted in the springtime! They do best in soft soil intermixed with 25% composted materials, mulch, or soil conditioners. It’s important not to over-water them; the soil should be damp, not saturated. Partial shade and full sun are the best locations for pansies.

Orchids. If it gets below 40 degrees outside, you’ll need to bring your orchids inside, so make sure the worst of the springtime cold fronts are over when you plant. Mist every morning with distilled or tap water at room temperature—or use the same water to give a good watering (instead of misting) every other day. Like pansies, the soil around orchids should be moist, not saturated. They may need staking as they grow. Shaded or partially shaded areas are perfect for orchids.

Begonias. Like orchids, begonias are cold-temperature-sensitive, so plant after the last of the frosts. The soil should be rich and soft, but make sure the surface of the soil dries between waterings (that is, don’t water if the soil is moist or saturated). When looking for them at your local nursery, look for the “sempiflorens” variety, which does well in outdoor flowerbeds. Trim off dead leaves or buds regularly to keep begonias flourishing. They should get plenty of sunlight, but if the sun is intense in your area, you’ll need to shelter them.

Dahlias. The soil should be enriched with mulch, fertilizer, or compost, and in a well-drained area in a sunny area. You can acquire dahlia tubers (instead of seeds, if you prefer) from your local nursery. Rainwater is usually enough to help the seeds sprout, but after the sprouts emerge from the soil, 3 times per week is enough watering, with a bit more in particularly hot, dry weather. If your dahlias grow to 3 feet or taller, staking is recommended to keep the plant thriving.

Daisies. Do note: If you plant daisy seeds now, they will bloom in their second year! If you’d like to start daisies already in bloom, you can purchase them from your local nursery. Grow daisies in rich soil that drains well, mixed with fertilizer and compost, in a full-sun area. Water daily until they take root or for a week after planting the daisies already in bloom. After that, you can hold off on watering until times of drought or when the soil appears dry. 

Originally posted by Vocalpoint 4/3/2012

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