Smart & Sustainable, Green Garden Design, Coaching & Seasonal Maintenance

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tips for Successful Spring Gardening

Sometimes I get to be on T.V. Here's a recent show I did with Melissa Paul of Channel 10's Sac and Co ...

Jeannie Hanson and Melissa Paul on Sac and Co

... and here's the video!

 Here are 6 tips for successful nursery shopping: 

  1. Plan ahead - know the area you are going to plant. How much sun does it get? Morning or evening? Any partial shade? Know the orientation of the garden ... if it faces west with no trees to shade it a bit, it will be hot. I mean, hot! What's the drainage like ... what's the soil like. If you know these details you'll be able to match up plants that like or at least tolerate those conditions. If you don't know these factors, good luck!
  2. Honor the seasons - fall and spring are the best times to plant most anything. The soil is warm enough for new plants to get settled in and get their roots established. When it's too hot or cold, that root growth doesn't happen. Also, there are warm season and cool season plants ... especially vegetables and annuals ... that love one season, hate the other. Don't go putting that tomato or it's summer veg pals (squash, peppers, eggplant, corn)into the ground until the nighttime temps are 60 degrees or above.
  3. Shop at the Independent Nurseries - I am not a snob about shopping at the "Big Box Stores". I love them, to tell the truth. But, the independent nurseries are so much about variety and unique treasures ... if we don't support them we'll lose them, and that would be a shame! 
  4. Ask for help - the people who work in nurseries usually love plants and love sharing their knowledge. If you've done #1 above you'll put them in a position where they can help.If you're at a #2 nursery, the quality of their advice will be sooo much better!!!! 
  5. Don't Overbuy - resist impulse shopping ... your plants will do much better if they get in the ground quickly. Sure, some plants can survive in their nursery pots for a long time, but, they'll be so much happier in the actual ground.
  6. Be Easy on Yourself - gardeners grow those green thumbs, they weren't born with them! And the road to being a successful gardener is to have many a failure! An example of my own. I've been really keen on CA native plants the last couple of years. One that early grabbed my interest was the Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia). It was so prominent in the hills around Hollywood, they named the area, well, Hollywood! Because it has red winter berries (that the birds love) it's also called Christmas Berry. Well, I killed 2 before I learned that just because it's drought tolerant, doesn't mean it can survive without water in it's nursery can. I think the phrase is "drought tolerant once established", and now I know what that means!
Whether you need garden design, coaching, seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help!

Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email

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