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Autumn Oak Lane: Springtime to-do for the beginner gardener

It's that time of year when the tulips come popping through the last snowfall in the North and daffodils are in full bloom in the South. One of the most wonderful times where you can plan your yearly garden scape with spring bloomers, summer heat-tolerant shrubs and trees, fall colors and winter interest specimens.

1. Plant year-round interest

Starting your garden, you have a few different options to choose from. You have plants known as annuals which live only for one season, perennials which come back every year and biennials which come back the second year and self-seed then die again after their second growing season. Most plants are perennials in their natural habitat, but what can be grown in Flordia year-round might be an annual in Maine or Montana. You can get evergreen shrubs such as boxwoods to form formal hedging around a flower bed or to shade perennials such as hellebores or Jacob's ladder. Another option is to get Supertunias that mound up and take over an area of the garden during the summer heat. You can also get vines such as clematis, Vinca minor, passiflora, jasmine or wisteria. These will climb onto a structure and trail across it throughout their lifespan. Yearly pruning is encouraged on vines and other shrubs to keep them in check and looking fresh.

2. Fertilizer

At the start of each growing season, you will want to give your existing flowerbeds a new round of fertilizer so that your preexisting shrubs can have new nutrients to grab as it is watered in. When planning new space, you can fertilize when you plant new containers and beds. Pour the measurement from the side of the bag into the hole that you are going to place your plant in. This will ensure proper nutrition and safekeeping from squirrels and other rodents that dig up fertilizer in new beds.

3. Mulch

With your springtime inspection comes springtime cleaning. You can rake away last season's mulch and replace it with new compost from the garden center or your own backyard system or woodchips. Eventually, this will break down and bring micro-bacterial fungi into the soil improving soil health for the plant's root system.

Springtime is the best time to visit the garden centers and see all the flowers in bloom With every shade under the rainbow imaginable you will surely find a plant that speaks to you!


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