ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Spring is here, which means it's time to start gardening again.
Ryan Meahl from Home Depot joins us to discuss tips to get garden-ready with fresh local plants, indoor innovations and top gardening trends for the springtime.
TREND ONE - Keep it Local: ‘Locavores’ pride themselves on growing and consuming local plants.
- As you decide, take into account the difference between annuals and perennials: Vigoro annuals, such as petunias and geraniums, grow all season long and must be replanted each year. Vigoro perennials, such as daylilies and daisies, continue to bloom and thrive year after year without the need for annual replanting.
- Soil is as diverse as St. Louis’ plants. Test the soil’s pH level with a Luster Leaf Rapitest Soil Moisture Meter to measure the acidity or alkalinity of soil. Most flowers need a pH of 6 to 7.
- Add Pavestone Pelletized Limestone if your soil is too acidic. If it’s too alkaline, add Encap Fast Acting Sulfur. The test makes it a cinch to know what and how much to use.
TREND TWO - Container Gardens: If it’s too soon to start using your green thumb in the ground, start with container gardening. That way, you can easily cover or move the plants into the garage at night. Select the right container:
- Find containers you like. Choose brightly colored glazed containers for a pop of color. If you prefer a more subtle look, select pots in shades of brown or bronze or use terra cotta.
- Use one container as a focal point or three near each other for a dramatic impact.
- Try colorful, lightweight plastic pots. Plastic doesn’t dry out as fast as glazed ceramic or terra cotta. They’re more affordable and easier to move around.
Pick your Plants:
- Almost any plants that grow in the ground can grow in a container, including dwarf trees, shrubs, herbs, vegetables, annuals and perennials.
- Vines and trailing plants can be allowed to cascade over the rims, or trained on a small trellis added to the pot. Try bush beans or tomatoes, or dwarf conifers, cannas or dahlias.
Find a Site:
- First, decide where you want your containers. If you’re using big pots or planters, remember they’ll be heavy, so make sure the site you choose can support their weight. It’s a good idea to put them in place first and then add the soil, plants, and water.
- Check for drainage holes in your containers, or drill a few holes so water won’t stand around the roots of your plants. If your pots are really deep, use a layer of gravel or pebbles in the bottom to take up some room.
- Elevating the containers will also help keep dirt from splashing on them when it rains.
- Keep your containers near a hose, so you won’t have to carry a watering can. For even easier watering, set up a drip irrigation system and connect it to an automatic timer.
Create winning flower combinations:
- Remember the adage of “thriller, filler and spiller” when planting new pots.
- Put the tallest growing plant in the middle, or at the back. Surround it with smaller plants and finally, those that spill over the edge.
- Another option is to plant a container with one dramatic foliage plant or fall bloomer. Tropical crotons and elephant ears are gorgeous in a fall landscape.
- Or, take the guesswork out of creating the perfect plant assortment. Home Depot and Rio worked together to develop a new plant innovation called the Rio Drop N’ Bloom Dipladenia Flowering Annual Shrub. Simply drop the plant into your favorite planter or into a garden bed, and they will bloom non-stop, all year long. RIOs store water beneath the soil, so very little watering is required.
TREND THREE - Color + Texture Gardens: Two gardening looks sweeping the nation are purple hues and grasses with unique textures. It’s simple to get the look:
- Planting Purple: Purple is the color of the year in both design and gardening. Opt for a variety of purple beauties such as Lavender, Amethyst Falls Wisteria and Encore Lilac Azaleas.
- Go Bedhead: As its name suggests, these popular plots are low-maintenance and do well in all climates. Craft an imperfect garden using grasses, like Miscanthus, Molinia ‘Skyracer’ or Pennisetum.
TREND FOUR - Prep the Beds for Extraordinary Edibles and Flowers: Edibles are here to stay. Fruits and fruit trees are “in”—plant now in containers for summer enjoyment.
- Now is a good time in many regions to start prepping in- and above-ground beds for future edibles.
- Add Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer for planting in a container garden or raised garden bed. The built-in applicator also makes it easy to use.
- Select easy-to-grow strawberries, blueberries and mature herbs such as Bonnie mint, basil and cilantro to use now. Consider lemon, apple or apricot trees for the yard or patio – this is the newest trend in garden to table at home.
- Fill the bottom of a City Pickers Patio Raised Garden Bed Grow Box Kit with a 2” layer of pea gravel, then complete the container with organic vegetable potting mix.
- Plant at the same depth as their containers, placing the tallest in the center and the trailing ones around the edges.
- Regularly feed herbs, fruits and veggies with organic plant food made specifically for edibles such as Miracle-Gro Nature's Care Tomato, Vegetable and Herb Plant Food.
For more information, visit www.HomeDepot.com.