Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West

Posted by Kathy Foran on 7/31/2016

Warm weather has arrived. You have done a spring cleanup on your home landscape, turned over the flower beds and garden plot and added organic compost to enrich the soil; now you are ready to select new plants to introduce into your home environment. Before you head out to the nursery or home and garden store to make a big purchase, it is helpful to keep a few guidelines in mind. Avoid Purchasing Plants In Full Bloom When selecting plants it is difficult not to want to select plants that are already in full bloom: they are so beautiful and will add instant color to the yard. Resist that urge. Plants that are already blooming require a great deal of energy to sustain the blooms. Instead, select plants that exhibit flower buds that appear full and solid but have yet to open. Choosing plants that are in bud gives you the time to plant them in your garden allow the roots to become established. To further promote growth and vigor, pinch off the existing buds at planting time. The flowers will come back, and the roots will receive the plantís full energy resulting in stronger and healthier plants. Healthy Roots Mean A Healthy Plant Before you purchase a new plant, check the roots. If you are purchasing a woody ornament, shrub or tree, donít hesitate to pull it from its container. Healthy, vigorous plants will present roots that are light in color and evenly distributed without being overly cramped. Avoid plants will dark, damaged or tight and twisted roots. Select Disease Free Plants Inspect plants carefully for signs of insect infestation or disease. Look under the leaves for signs of mold and mildew, leaf stippling, a stick residue, or small black flecks on the underside of the leaves. These are all signs of disease. Appearance Is Important Resist purchasing garden plants that appear leggy or like they are stretching for the sun. This is an indicator that the plant was grown in less than adequate light or was either consistently under or over watered. Pale foliage is also an indicator of over watering. Do The Research Go online and check the United States Plant Hardiness Zone map to determine your growing region. Just because an attractive blooming plant is offered for sale at your local nursery does not mean it will flourish in your hardiness zone. If in doubt, contact your local county extension office to obtain a list of home landscape plants with a proven history of doing well in your area. Make Good Choices Avoid emotional choices and picking out the first colorful flat of plants that attracts your eye. The best way to keep your garden vibrant, healthy and attractive is to avoid introducing diseased plants into your environment.

Tags: gardening tips  
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Posted by Kathy Foran on 8/19/2012

Who doesn't love a vegetable garden? There is nothing better than fresh green beans or vine-ripened tomatoes. Getting started with your very own vegetable garden is easier than you think. It all starts with choosing the right crops and space for your garden. 1. Choose your vegetables. Only grow vegetables you enjoy eating. Don't waste your efforts on things you will not eat or give away. There are some vegetable which are extremely well suited for eating fresh. Most people agree that tomatoes, squash, beans and peas are especially good from the garden. 2. Pick your space. You will want to pick an area that is flat, has easy access and gets full sun 3. Prepare your space. Preparing the soil is one of the most important parts of the garden. Make sure the soil is free from rocks and weeds. Make sure to turn the soil. You may also want to add organic material such as compost. It is best to consult the garden center for what they recommend. 4. Plant accordingly. Figure out how much growing space you have and plant accordingly. Lettuce, for example, can be grown in a solid mat, but tomatoes need to be spaced about 2 feet (60 cm) apart. Give pumpkins at least 4 feet (120 cm) of growing room. Growing requirements are provided on seed packets, in catalogs, and on nursery tags, as well as in books on growing vegetables. 5. Schedule your plantings. There are two main growing seasons which vary by region: cool (spring and fall) and warm (summer). Vegetables that typically do well in the cool-season are lettuce, peas, potatoes, and beets. Warm-season crops include beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash and tomatoes. Consult your garden center for the time of year and what is best in your area. 6. Enjoy the fruits or veggies of your labor.