Wanting a sensational color display this spring? Don't forget to go add plants like snapdragons, dianthus, or poppies to your designs this fall when planting pansies and violas. While these plants are available to plant both fall & spring, you will find that they perform and bloom more heavily when planted in the fall. Planting early with give the plants time to establish a good root system and won't fade as fast when the spring temperatures begin to rise.
Carry the volume of summer by planting edible crops for winter such as mustards, kales, chards, or even cabbages. I use these plants in place of coleus or other larger growing annuals in my winter designs. These beautiful edibles can be used from full sun to partial shade in your landscape or containers. Though these are cool season crops, be sure to cover when temperatures drop below freezing for best results.
Cyclamen are a great choice for winter, both indoor and out. Cyclamen can take part sun outdoors and bright natural light indoors. Not only does this plant come in bright vivid colors, it also has interesting markings on it's foliage. Cyclamen prefers to be watered around it's base, rather than overhead to avoid rot to it's bulbous tuber. In this shade combo planted we added complimentary Huechera for additional foliage color.
Want to add perennial edibles to your veggie garden? Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that loves growing in a sunny location. Plants offer up feathery foliage late-spring through fall. When planting the crowns, be sure to give this perennial some room to spread in well-amended soil. Wait 2-years before you harvest your first spring asparagus shoots. While you have to practice patience for this crop, it is worth the wait!
GARDEN CLEAN UP
While shrubs and perennials are still dormant, now is the time to prune them to remove dead growth or re-shape plants. Cutting back your perennials will encourage fresh leafy growth, bountiful blooms, and help reduce pests this spring and summer. Late-January and early-February is the best time to prune back plants before the new spring growth begins to emerge. Cutting plants back before this could encourage new growth when temperatures are too cold.
LOVE YOUR ROSES
Bush and shrub roses preform and flower best when you do your heavy pruning between late January and mid-February. Remove 30-50% of last year's growth, followed by clearing the center of your roses to improve air circulation. Remove all brittle small branches and any dead wood. When pruning your roses make cuts right above a swollen bud that is facing away from the center of the plant. This technique will result in the most natural shape.
If you missed your chance to plant salad greens in the fall, or want to boost your harvset this spring, now is a good time to plant new greens in DFW. Leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, and spinach can be planted by seed directly in your garden. Fruiting crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, or Brussels sprouts are best planted by transplant at this time.
Spring your winter color into action by fertilizing plants now. This is a perfect time to fertilize cool-season color and boost spring blooms. I love using Hasta gro and Espoma Flowertone for seasonal color feeding. Be sure to clean away any spent blooms when fertilizing to encourage a heavier flush of new flowers.