May 21, 2014
We are coming up on Memorial Day weekend. This is the traditional time for planting the vegetables and annual flowers that are the heat loving plants. Let’s hope Mother Nature doesn’t give us any more cold weather.
Let’s take a few moments to talk about how you should be planting your plants. Lets say that you are going to plant some flowers into a large flowerpot. Any time that you plant into any type of container; you should always use potting soil. If you use soil from the garden or if you use topsoil, you run the risk of the soil packing down and damaging the roots. Topsoil is used when you are patching holes in the yard or you can use it to repair poorer quality soil that you have in your yard. Many of you will be using raised beds to grow your plants. You can buy topsoil, in bulk, to fill your raised beds. It is an economical way to fill the beds if the soil is high quality. You may have to amend the soil with compost, peat moss or other types of organic matter to make the topsoil a good home for your plants. (By the way, when you are taking gardening, the words and topsoil and loam really mean the same thing. On a technical level, they are different but as far as common usage, they are the same thing. ) If you want to fill your raised beds with soil, you can also use a bagged garden soil. It may cost you more than buying topsoil, but if you buy a quality product, your plants will love you for years to come! When you are planting your plants, the plants need to get their root system out into the soil. To encourage this new root growth, you should water your plants with a root starter fertilizer. These fertilizers are designed to stimulate new growth. This fertilizer is used one time, at planting time.
If you can put your plants in on a cloudy day, your plants will have a better chance to get their roots established. A hot, sunny and or windy day makes it harder for your plants to get their roots established.
If you are putting your plants into regular garden topsoil, you want to be aware of cutworms. Cutworms live in the soil and as their name implies, they will cut your plants stems right off at the soil line. There are many insecticides that you can use at planting time that will kill the cutworms. The insecticides should be applied as you do your planting. All it takes is one night and cutworms will be raising havoc with your new seedlings.
Once you have all of your plants, remember that plants are a lot like people; they both like to eat! Your plants need a steady supply of fertilizer if they are going to thrive. You can use organic or synthetic fertilizers. The choice is up to you. If you start on a program of regularly fertilization, your plants will thrive. If you don’t keep up with fertilizing your plants, they will also be prone to poor flower production. You need flowers if you are going to have fresh vegetables and I am sure you didn’t buy those annual flowers for just the leaves.
Fungus diseases are a major problem for most of the flowers and vegetables that we plant in our yards. There are now some good organic sprays that, when used regularly, will prevent most of the fungus diseases from happening. We carry several types in our store.
Speaking of Memorial Day, we will be open all weekend, including Memorial Day. I hope to see all those happy faces that finally have a chance to get those plants into the ground.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.