Spring really is here – finally – which means it's time to clean up the remnants of last years flower beds and start anew.
Whether planting for a new yard or just sprucing up the one you have, there are guidelines that will help make the job easier and the results beautiful.
While it generally is advised to hold off planting in Chicago area's Zone 5 until Mother's Day (in order avoid frostbitten plants) eager gardeners can spend the last few days on planning.
If you purchase flowers early, get a container plant so you can enjoy it outside all summer long and bring it inside in the colder seasons.
Always check the tag that comes with the plant. Not only should it have information on what planting zones are suitable, but also instructions on planting, light requirements and how big it will be when fully grown. If you’re not into maintenance and trimming, make sure you plant trees and bushes as though they were fully grown, leaving enough room for them fill in.
Annuals are not hardy in this zone, which is why they often are seen planted in containers or porch boxes, where they bloom all summer long. Most perennials have their bloom time a couple weeks throughout the spring & summer. Be sure the remove the blooms once they have died off to promote new growth and keep them regenerating new blooms. Never plant a sun-loving flowering plant in the shade if you want it to bloom.
Maintenance also is important. Some plants, like hydrangeas, are extremely thirsty until they get their roots established. If you don’t have time for that, consider a soaker hose or an irrigation system.
That Perennial Place, 1565 W. US Route 6, Morris, IL, (815) 942 2235 website: http://thatperennialplace.com/
- Diane K. Spivak