Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > March 2015 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - GET SMART - GARDEN SMART THAT IS


It has been a long, cold winter.  Cabin fever has set in.  Spring is officially here on the 20th.  YEAH!!!  We are all anxious to get outside and start our spring gardening projects.  But, let’s get smart and let’s not let our anxiety lead us to making some major and costly gardening and landscape mistakes.
Here is a short list of common gardening mistakes not to make this spring:
  1.  GREAT PLANT, WRONG LOCATION  -  Yes, when you come to a garden center all the plants look small and cute, like a little puppy.  Be aware of the plant requirements and ultimate growing dimensions and then plant accordingly.  To me this is the number one mistake that I see made by homeowners.  The wrong plant in the wrong location will eventually lead to being a big landscape mistake and the plant will perform poorly.  Everyone needs to think: RIGHT PLANT, RIGHT LOCATION.
  2. PLANT IT RIGHT  -  For shrubs, trees, perennials and annuals, the planting hole should be dug two to four times wider, BUT no deeper than the root ball to be planted.  The old saying seems fitting at this point:  “a ten dollar hole for a five dollar plant”.  Too many homeowners dig a small hole and jam the roots into the ground or they dig a deeper hole than needed and plant “too deeply” and build up the soil onto the trunk of the plant.  What to remember here is that roots are roots and stems are stems.
  3. BEING TOO ANXIOUS WITH WARM SEASON ANNUALS – Now that the weather is beginning to be more spring-like, people are anxious to get outside and start planting their vegetable plants and flowering annuals.  WHOA!!!  Our soil temperature is still very cool at this time.  As of March 18 our soil temperature is 46 degrees.  The air temperature is still too cold to be thinking about planting marigolds, petunias, impatiens, basil etc.  Keep in mind that our average last frost date in the Richmond area is around the 20th of April. 
  4. MORE MUST BE BETTER – Wrong again.  Did you know that it is a law in Virginia that you must read the label on all products and to follow the required recommendations?  It’s true.  Too many people think that applying twice as much product as suggested must do a better job.  People will double up on the dosage of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides.  This practice leads to plant damage and unnecessary runoff into our water system not to mention the waste of money.
Bottom line, let’s all enjoy gardening this spring and let’s do what is right.  HAPPY SPRING TO EVERYONE!
Posted: 3/19/2015 by Doug Hensel | with 2 comment(s)
(The Sonata Mix variety - cosmos)...
3/22/2015 12:35:35 PM

Hello! When will the cosmos come in this year? (approx.) Thanks!! K.
3/22/2015 12:34:57 PM

 Security code