Expert’s Corner: Getting your spring garden in top shape

Posted on 11 May 2016


Q: What is the biggest thing that people need to know about getting their garden ready for spring? 

A: Jeff Jeter (Owner/Operator In The Garden) Start off with good soil. Test your soil. Go have the PH tested on it and see what nutrients you need in your soil. Find out what you have: sandy soil, clay soil and talk to someone to find out what you need you need to build the soil up.

Adding compost to the soil is probably one of the best things. That is going to get you the maximum amount of growth. Good soil is what you need. You can put a five- cent plant in a dollar hole is better than a dollar plant in a five-cent hole.

Q: What plants should you be looking at after getting your soil ready? 

A: Now’s the time to look over and decide what annual and perennials to put in your yard. Now’s the best time. There’s a great selection out there all different colors and styles. Just deice what you have: full sun, full shade, part sun and decide on what plants you want.

If you’re going in the shade impatiens may be your choice, begonias, the green leaf begonias are great for shade. For full sun, marigolds, lantanas, even zinnia.

Q: What all do you need to keep in mind when picking the right plant for specific spots?

A: Sunlight, how big it grows, what you want? Do you want a big growing plant three or foot tall or do you want a small trailing plant that’s going to cover the ground.

Q: Once you get your plant in the ground what is the proper maintenance to make sure it stays alive? 

A: Proper water. Make sure it gets watered especially the first year. Watch the plant, look for wilted leaves, but don’t overwater. Roots need air too. Fertilization. Keep it well fertilized and proper pruning to keep it in the shape you want it to be in.

Q: What plants should you be looking to trim this time of year?

A: Most of all the plants that have already bloomed. Azaleas have already bloomed. Cut them back as hard as you want. Kind of a rule of thumb is trim everything back when it finishes blooming. Hydrangeas particularly are bad because they lose all their leaves in the winter. They look bad. Everybody has the idea to cut them back because they are just sticks, but they’ve already set buds for the following year so don’t cut them back or you will be cutting off your flowers for the following spring. Camellias are one of same things. Don’t cut them too late in the year. You’ve got to watch what plants you cut back and when.

Q: What should you be looking for when planting a new vegetable garden this spring? 

A: Usually its full sun for a vegetable garden. Watch for bugs or pest. A lot of it you can still start from seed.  They come up very quickly. We usually carry pepper plants, tomato plants and then a lot of other seeds.

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