The Roundup -

Perennials Make For Good Spring Planting


Liatris Spicata Kobold, also known as "Blazing Star," is a popular perennial.

Spring is here in our region. Daytime temps are regularly in the 60's but overnight lows are still a bit scary for most annual plants. Plants that are safe to install right now would be trees, shrubs, and perennials. Many people plant perennials because of the attraction of year after year growth. This means they will not have to plant their entire space with annuals each season. We try and keep a selection of perennial plants in stock all season long. Firstly, when considering perennial plants it is important to realize that most perennials do not continue to bloom in the way that annual flowers do. Since they grow for more than one season they focus there bloom time to a certain time of year in hopes to attract pollinators and other insects that will help them either pollinate the flower or move the seeds to a new location.

Since perennials do not bloom continually, it is important to plant a variety of items so as to help ensure there is color in the landscape throughout the entire season. We're happy to help you with selecting items that will bloom during certain periods of the summer months to create that continuous flow of color.

Secondly, when choosing to plant perennial beds, it is often essential in our area to work at improving the soil in the area you wish to grow them. You will find that your results will be much improved than if you attempt to grow straight in the native soil most of us have in our outdoor landscapes.

Soil amendment is important because there are several challenges with the soils in our regions. Due to the glacial flows that passed through here centuries ago creating those beautiful badlands we appreciate so much, they caused us other problems. The tended to grab soil as they moved and when they distributed it again they landed sand particles in one space and clay particles in other places. Soils that are not balanced with clay and sand content each pose their own unique challenges.

Sandy Soils: Soils that are high in sand content are generally extremely quick draining. In a climate like ours where rains and other natural watering are rarer, that makes getting things established in sandy soils somewhat difficult. It can often be a challenge to keep young plants hydrated. On a positive note, sandy soils tend to allow roots to permeate through and grow very quickly. This can mean a person with sandier soils can see rapid growth (with proper hydration) that would be much more difficult to achieve in soils that are heavier, like clay.

Clay Soils: Perhaps the most common it seems, soils with high clay content while being moderately nutritious, are difficult to get things to thrive in because of the dense nature of their particles. Clay because it is so small, has room to hold lots of moisture, so soils generally do not appear dry when they are high in clay. Once they do become dry they can often crack at the surfaces. Work should be done to improve the space between clay particles by adding sand or other organic materials that can help create more porosity

Don't know what kind of soil you have? You can follow the instructions on our website to perform a "soil composition" test. All you need are simple materials you already possess at home. It won't cost you a dime, and you'll be better prepared in knowing what you need to succeed. We're here to help with all your gardening questions. Happy growing!


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