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Spring 2015 Planting Tips

It’s official, Spring is here.  Now is the time to dive head first into your garden and set the stage for an amazing year, all while enjoying beautiful weather, incredible blooms and fragrances that you can’t find any other time.  In this entry we’ll cover a handful of topics that commonly come up during this time and maybe inspire you to undertake some new projects. First things first; irrigation.  Pretty soon this is going to be very important. You should go through station-by-station and check to make sure everything fires up like it’s expected to Check each sprinkler and drip line for blockage and proper alignment, a shrub might be larger than last year and be blocking the spray to something else.  Lastly check your timer box to make sure that it is programmed properly and has the correct time.

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We all know that some plants require more water than others and lawns may be one of the thirstiest, this is a fact that might warrant some consideration before we get too far into the year.   There are plenty of lawn substitutes and some folks have even abandoned the irrigation of their yard all together. For those who cannot bring themselves to give up on plants they have become attached to, there are some options. Certain types of sprinklers will apply less water more efficiently; this saves you money, saves water, and is easy to convert to.  Things like rotor sprinklers will distribute water more slowly allowing it to absorb better instead of running off.  As for your other plants I encourage you to make the switch to a drip system. Precise application to exactly the right location with regulators in the line that can insure that you’re only applying exactly what is needed. These little changes can make a huge difference in your annual water consumption.

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The garden is waking up after months of dormancy and its time for breakfast. Depending on where you live, your soil may be lacking in a variety of necessary nutrients. If you are gardening in containers, now is the perfect time to give them a quick pick-me-up.  Fertilizing can be daunting, there are so many types available, each claiming different benefits and sometimes the information seems coded and inaccessible.  But that’s where we come in!  Stop by the Little Red Hen Nursery and check out our selection of Organic, “Down to Earth” fertilizers and talk with one of or knowledgeable employees.  We’ll do everything we can to get you off to a great start this spring.

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Another option for those whose soil is beyond repair through amendments, raised planter beds with brought in soil might be the better way to go! This option allows you to completely control the environment that you grow in, precautions can be made to avoid gopher confrontation, the elevation makes planting and harvesting easier, and you have the opportunity to get very creative with the design. It can become a wonderful opportunity to express yourself. The initial investment can vary greatly depending on choice of materials and soil, but once in place it can become relatively self-sufficient needing only minor adjustments on occasion. This may become your new favorite way to garden.

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Spring is a wonderful time to add new plants to your garden. Many plants are in bloom and showcase exactly what they have to offer. Other summer blooming choices may not be the flashiest things now, but still have time to acclimate to your garden and put on an incredible show. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but typically the best time to add a plant to your garden is when it looks the most modest.

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Adding new plants is a great opportunity to attract all kinds of beneficial birds and insects. Having them in your yard will improve the overall quality of your garden as well as helping your local ecosystem. By following a few guidelines, one can make positive decisions about the future of their garden. Diversity is a real key, having a variety of plants with different structures, flower types, colors and bloom times will greatly increase the appeal of your garden to beneficial wildlife. Native plants will also be a tremendous help as local wildlife is already accustomed to their presence and familiar with the benefits.  An additional perk to native plants is that many, once established can be taken off irrigation and still thrive in your garden. So be sure to stop by the Little Red Hen Nursery and your new favorite plants!

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