It’s official, spring is in full swing for many of us around the country. Here on the West Coast, our spring landscapes are filling with blooms and we’re busy planting and preening our plants. For those of you in climates where you’re already getting to work on your spring garden, here are a few tips to keep it look it’s best through the season.
No matter where you live, garden clean up is an ongoing must. Time to rake up the remainder of fallen leaves and add them to the compost pile. Keeping garden beds free of fallen leaves and debris discourages pests and disease to settle in. With cool nights, warm days and humidity, spring is the time of year when fungal diseases such powdery mildew spring can set in. Aphids and slugs are also on the rise this month.
Plant fruit! Adding fruit trees to the landscape serves a dual purpose: You’ll enjoy early spring blooms followed by summer and fall harvests. There are many small varieties of fruit trees you can add to your urban space. Figs, almond, jujube and persimmon are some of the easiest to grow and provide reliable yields.
Fruit trees need pollinators in order to produce a good harvest. Plant pollinator friendly perennials and herbs to ensure bees have plenty to forage on, in addition to your fruit trees. Salvia, lavender, rudbeckia, catmint, poppies, bee balm, and butterfly weed are a few good choices. A variety of blooming plants is always appreciated by not just bees, but by butterflies and hummingbirds, too.
Transition your seasonal color. If you planted winter color, it’s most likely time to start shifting over to more heat tolerant varieties. Purslane, celosia, dahlias, marigolds, petunias, verbena, and vinca are good options. Sow seeds of zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers directly into beds.
Ready for roses? Now is the time rose plants are in abundance at your local nursery and you’ll be able to choose from the best selection. Be sure to amend soil with a quality rose mix. Or, add compost, alfalfa meal and kelp meal. Remember, the healthier your soil, the more vigorous your plants!
Prep plants for summer heat in spring! Fertilize trees, shrubs, groundcover, and perennials with an appropriate fertilizer that contains nitrogen to help support their spring growth spurt before summer arrives.