Preparing for Spring

DSC_0069We are working in that period of unpredictable spring weather where you can’t decide if you really need that jacket to loading on the layers. February, March and April in the south can throw out everything from snow and ice, hail, high winds, thunder storms and tornadoes. Your winter flowers are trying to flush with color and then holding back under the biting cold.  So, what should we really be concentrating on right now in terms of planning for spring?

1.  Regular maintenance on winter color.  Deadheading on a regular schedule and periodic fertilization on the warmer/sunny stretch of days.  This will prepare your current plantings to be able to thrive when the early spring weather sets in.  We spend most of the winter waiting for that blast of color that pansies, violas and panolas can really produce in the months of March and April.

2.  Soil testing on underperforming beds.  This is a great time to get some soil samples in and make adjustments as needed before the spring plantings.  If you have been using mini pine bark nuggets to mulch your color beds, you may find the ph is a little out of the desired range.  No matter how careful you are to remove them each season, there will be a buildup over time in the beds that can have a detrimental impact on your plantings.  Soil testing gives you the scientific information needed to be in control.

3.  Designing your spring color program and letting us know your thoughts.  While we often produce a crop based on historic sales and good gut, it would be wise to let us know your thoughts about your color program for the upcoming season and not assume the plant production will be what you really need.  Consider this:  It takes about 8 weeks to produce a healthy plug to send to a finish grower if the plug producer has the seed or unrooted cutting readily available. Then it takes about 8 weeks on average for us, the finish grower, to produce the plant you want to buy.

Planning ahead for your seasonal color is the safest way to get what you want.  Call us and let us know your thoughts for spring.