Spring Planting Tips

As soon as warmer days arrive, everyone is eager to start working on their frost bit landscapes. After the three days of hard freezes the Houston area endured many trees and plants didn’t make it.

The Houston and surrounding areas seem to be in the clear for some early spring planting the problem is sometimes we aren’t too certain about what to plant and what not to plant.

*For gardens, you are safe planting: cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Also, it is a good time to plant squash, corn, lettuce and watermelon. Growing plants from seeds takes longer of course but it does give you more of a variety and is cheaper than transplanting. If you are planting seeds don’t sow too deep. Most vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Be sure to use a compost enriched soil. Work two inches of compost into the soil. Be sure to regularly apply a subtle fertilizer.

*To update those troubled flowerbeds and to update your curb appeal, it is a great time to plant hardy flowers such as pansies, violas and snapdragons. Now is a great time to plant trees, shrubs and bushes.

Cabbage and kale can be perfect for flower beds because of their ornamental leaves. 

*Check the soil and be sure it is moist and crumbly. Not muddy, not dry but moist. If you work with the soil while it is muddy it will harden up like a brick later and will prevent roots from taking root.

*Once the soil is ready, it takes tons of water to maintain it. Watering twice on the first day is recommended and keep watering until the ground is either wet or the plants to get rooted.

*Plan for pests because they are bound to come. Certain plants attract certain pests. If you plan of time you can stop the problem before it starts. Be sure to read up on what pests your new plants may attract and have a plan of action beforehand. Find out what will deter the pests from calling your garden home. Now is also a great time to integrate plants that attract good insects like: lady bugs and ground beetles. Catnip, lemon balm, lavender, peppermint, citrosum, basil, sage and also rosemary are all plants that repel mosquitos, so it would be a great time to start planting them to gear up for the upcoming warm months. 

DON’T Over complicate fertilizing. The best thing to use is all-purpose slow releasing fertilizer. Often times people over fertilize plants that will do well on their own. Don’t pour fertilizer on the tops of plants, instead pour it around the sides. If you pour fertilizer all over the garden it will make weeds grow at a faster pace. Whatever you do, DO NOT skip fertilization. Use it even when planting trees and shrubs.

DON’T Over crowd your plants, shrubs and trees. Plants need space to grow just as they need sunlight. Be sure to keep in mind how big that palm tree will be before planting it next to a walk way. Check to see how big the rose bush will grow, and check to be certain if  those shrubs will take on the look of a tree if not trimmed? If you overcrowd your garden or your flower bed, plants will compete for water and nutrients. Proper spacing improves plant health and it also denies many insects and fungi a place to live.

DON’T  Neglect early weeding. When you plant early, moisten the soil and fertilize this gives weeds the ample opportunity to grow just as it gives our plants the same opportunity. Reducing weed pressure gives plants the ability to establish their roots that much faster.

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