(NC)—Spring is the season of rebirth and re-growth. Which also means green-thumbs can’t wait to get back in those gardens! To get you started, here are some helpful tips from garden guru Peter Cantley, at Loblaw Companies Limited
Make your garden beds. Rid planting areas of weeds and spread a 4-inch layer of compost or manure over soil. Using a pitchfork, mix soil and compost going about 10 inches deep until you’ve got moist crumbly soil.
Primp and prune. Remove dead or damaged branches from woody shrubs or trees before new leaf growth begins. Prune spring-flowering shrubs and trees only after the first spring bloom.
Take some tests. Different planting areas may have different needs. Check the pH balance of soil in each spot with a home soil test kit. Then as new growth appears you can treat each one with the fertilizer and amendments required.
Peter’s Dos and Don’ts to get you ready for beautiful summer Blooms:
• DO water the garden before 10 a.m. If you leave watering for the hotter hours almost half the amount of water you apply will evaporate in the summer heat.
• DON’T cut back foliage of bulbs until it dries naturally. The bulb needs the green leaves to make food for next season’s growth. Cutting foliage too early results in small, weak bulbs the following year.
• DO fertilize roses every week, all summer long. Most hybrids are very heavy feeders and need a lot of fertilizer for beautiful and healthy blooms. Be sure to plant your bushes in a location with plenty of sunlight and leave at least 3 feet in between plants for good air circulation.
• DON’T forget to experiment with new perennials every year. Each year, we showcase some of the latest introductions and it’s a wonderful treat to find new plants toenjoy in the garden. For instance, try the PC® Campanula – Purple Get Mee, with purple bell-shaped flowers. This perennial acts like an annual with rich blooms that come back summer to fall.