With Spring finally here, it’s time to head outdoors and reclaim your yard and garden from the ravages of winter and prepare for beautiful blooms and a fruitful yield this summer. Countryside Flower Shop, Nursery & Garden Center offers these tips to help you tackle the job:
1. Protect plant from frost damage
Always clean debris, leaves and dead plants from around your plantings after the danger of frost has passed, typically, when daytime temperatures consistently stay above 50 degrees. This year it looks like our last chance for frost will be May 15 – 17.
2. Get the timing right
Cold season vegetables can be planted while temperatures are cool. Wait to plant tomatoes until at least mid-May as they are tropical and will not grow in cold soil. Once the soil and nighttime temperatures warm up, you can then plant cucumbers, squash and melons. Memorial Day is typically a good time.
3. Prevent garden pests
For trees and shrubs that had insect and disease problems last year, now is the time to apply Horticultural Dormant Oil. This is an oil that will smother spores and insects that may have overwintered on your plants. You want to apply when temperatures are above 40 degrees, before the leaves unfurl.
4. Make trimming a priority
Cut back ornamental grasses now and divide if necessary. Cut back rose bushes to the green on the stems. Trim forsythia and lilac bushes right after they have finished flowering, usually within a week. Trim them any later and they won’t bloom next year.
5. Fertilizer can help a garden thrive
For container gardens, we recommend using Jack’s Water Soluble Fertilizer. When putting in new plantings - vegetables, flowers, trees and shrubs - always use Bio-Tone by Espoma to encourage root growth. Follow up throughout the growing season with Espoma Organic Fertilizers found at Countryside Garden Center.
6. Mulch is a must
Once you’ve cleaned up your flower beds and put in new plantings, add mulch to retain moisture. Then sprinkle Preen on top to prevent weeds from germinating.
7. Keep critters out
After all your hard work, you will want to keep critters out of your vegetable garden. Now is the time to start applying granular repellents.
Questions? Ask the professional staff at Countryside or visit Countryside’s YouTube channel for how-to-videos.
Countryside Flower Shop, Nursery & Garden Center : 5301 E. Terra Cotta Ave (Rte 176), Crystal Lake, IL : 815.459.8130 : www.countrysideflowershop.com