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Five Spring Gardening Tips

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Spring GardenBy Paul Schubert, Manager at Pike Nurseries Holcomb Bridge

Spring is the prime time to get out and play in the dirt! Here are some helpful gardening and lawn care tips to help you make the most of your landscape and yard:

Pick the Perfect Plants for Spring in Georgia
Plant spring annuals like petunias or begonias in April, when temperature lows are consistently in the 50s. Right now, you can plant cool-weather blooming annuals like pansies, violas, cyclamen and English Primrose. You can also plant herbs like rosemary and cilantro that can give your cooking a gourmet flare. This is also the time to start seeds indoors for warm season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers and herbs. Let the seeds germinate indoors and transplant the small plants outdoors the temperatures are consistently warm.

Landscape with Trees and Shrubs
Start planting or filling in the backbone of your garden with trees and shrubs. Some great tree options for Georgia include fruit tree varieties like apple, plum and peach; flowering trees like dogwoods and crape myrtles; and Japanese maples with their rich burgundy leaves, which are especially great for small spaces. Popular shrubs for Atlanta gardens include Encore Azaleas, Camellias, Nandina and Hollies. Pike Nurseries guarantees all trees and shrubs for life.

Amend Your Soil
The key to healthy plants is in the soil. Our Georgia red clay is very compact, which is less than ideal for plants. Whether you”re planting trees, shrubs or flowers, you need to amend the soil with a rich planting mix like Pike Planting Mix at a 50/50 ratio with the native soil. The planting mix is filled with nutrients and will help the soil retain water.

Spring Lawn Care
You have two options for your lawn right now: reseeding or controlling weeds. You”ll need to determine if reseeding or preventing weeds is more important for your lawn since you can”t reseed for at least six weeks after applying crabgrass preventer. Reseeding is typically the best option for Fescue lawns, newer lawns that haven”t completely grown in yet and lawns with bare spots. Now is the ideal time to start seeding or reseeding your lawn
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What To Do for Late Season Frosts
Atlanta weather can be unpredictable, and there is always a chance of a late frost. If a hard frost is in the forecast, there are three main things to keep in mind to protect your outdoor plants. First, make sure to keep watering! You should water plants before a hard freeze and after the freeze. The added moisture will allow the plants to tolerate the cold and bounce back to life. Second, keep your garden insulated with a 1-2 inch layer of mulch to help regulate the plants” temperature and keep the plants moist. Finally, protect your plants with a frost cloth the night of the expected frost. It”s important that you remove the frost cloth first thing in the morning; if not, the sun will trap in heat under the cloth and cause more damage to the plant.

For more information, visit www.pikenursery.com.