What to know before you grow

Local

It seems like we’re finally freeing ourselves from the grip of harsh Old Man Winter, but that doesn’t mean we should rush into spring planting. 

“When you have this weather that balloons from 30 degrees all the way up to 75 degrees, it teases a lot of people into planting things they have to be careful about,” said Kathy Quarles, of Stauffers of Kissel Hill.

Let’s start with tender plants like annuals and tomatoes, Quarles said those should wait until May. 

“When you plant them too early and the night temperatures get cold, it actually arrests their development. They stop growing. So, instead of trying to get ahead to get tomatoes early, you actually put yourself a couple weeks behind,” Quarles said. 

Quarles said now is the perfect time to plant cold crops like broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower along with shrubs and grass, but be careful with this weekend’s damp forecast. 

“When it rains a lot like that, the ground is really heavy and hard to dig in. A lot of plants aren’t happy about that, so just be conscious about what you need to do as far as amending your soil and be conscious if you’re going to plant grass seed to cover it so the rain doesn’t wash it away,” Quarles said. 

Whether you’re a garden fanatic or want to add color to your spring, there are still plenty of ways to get that green thumb back into shape.  

“I like to just spruce it up and give it some color so that when I sit out there and drink my wine in the evening, I can actually have something good to look at,” said Holly Wolford, spring plant shopper. 

“Get rid of those leaves you never got to in the fall. Trim back your roses right now — it’s a perfect time to do it. If you haven’t cut back your ornamental grasses, now is the perfect time to do that,” Quarles said.

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