In the Garden Blog
Cincinnati's Garden Blog
Spring Gardening is here in Cincinnati!
It’s time for spring gardening! Our garden experts are answering the most popular spring gardening questions.
“How soon can we start planting our tomato and pepper plants?”
One of the most popular spring garden questions but don’t forget our frost-free date is May 15. But, we will have tomato, pepper, and a full line of annual veggie plants available in about 2-3 weeks, depending on the weather, for those who like to get an early jump, plant early in containers, or just like to buy early so they can get those special plants. In the meantime, those cold-hardy greens will be available for you to buy and plant! Don’t forget you can grow greens in containers just as easily as growing them in the ground.
‘How soon can I plant pansies?”
Right now! Those cold-hardy annuals are ready to be planted and give your containers or landscape beds some great early spring colors. Don’t forget to check out the Frizzle Sizzle series (ruffled petals), and the HIPHOP series (Honeybunny, Cranbunny, and Bluebunny). These cuties look like rabbit faces, just in time for Easter! And don’ forget that pansy flowers are highly edible and look great on salads and mixed fruits!
“Now that the weather is warming this week, would it be a good idea to apply the pre-emergent herbicide to the lawn?”
Yes indeed! The idea is to have it in place before the seeds start to germinate (air and soil temp around 55 degrees consistently), so this week works great! (same for the landscape beds if you’d like). By the way, if you’d like to use a natural pre-emergent herbicide, look at using conr gluten meal. It’s available in granular form, as well as a water-soluble form (by Bondie) which is sprayed on.
“Will you have other things at the Outlet besides plants?”
Yes, we get this question a lot. Not only do we have one of the largest selections of plants in the tri-state area, with 3 acres of covered shopping plus our nursery, we also sell a complete line of pottery and container gardening supplies, mulches (bulk and bagged), plant foods, bug, disease, and insect controls, grass seed, lawn food, essential tools, summer bulbs, tropical plants, cages, trellises, critter repellents, and on and on. Come see!
“Our lawn is more brown on the ends of the blades coming out of the winter. What can I do to help it along?”
This may sound crazy, but as soon as the soil is walkable/mowable, I would mow the grass just to get rid of all that brown dead foliage on top, and clear the way for the new green growth to come along. Amazing what that ‘pre-mow’ or early mowing can do to make your lawn a pre-mo lawn!
“When it gets close to 50 degrees, I have seen some bees flying around. What do they eat at this time of the year?”
Great question! Those early warm days of late winter and spring, honeybees do a ‘poop’ flight to go to the bathroom and clean up a bit. Dandelions can be one of their first early sources of food, so if you have dandelions in your yard or garden, let them flower first for the bees, then do something about the dandelions later. You can also help by putting out your hummingbird feeders (take off the bee guards) and let them feed on the sugar water until the hummers show up. Make yourself a promise that you’ll do all you can to ‘bee-friendly’ in your yard and garden this year!
“I have chickweed, henbit and another white flowering weed growing in my landscape beds and thin areas of the lawn. What should I spray them with to get rid of them?”
Use a rake and rake them out before they flower and set seed. Those started growing last fall, so not letting them go to seed is the first step. Using a pre-emergent herbicide in the landscape beds next fall will help control some of the seeds from growing. And get the lawn thicker. Thicker lawn and those winter annual weeds can’t grow there. By the way, the 3rd weed you mentioned – I’m guessing it’s Hairy Bittercress. Google and see! But forget the sprays, just rake or pull them out. By the way, once again, the chickweed is very, very edible!
“I’m seeing those wild onions or garlic coming up in clumps in our lawn. What’s the best way to get rid of them before they take over?”
Maintain a thick healthy lawn is the first defense. Then if they do pop up, physical removal works nicely, but make sure you dig out onion bulbs, roots, and all and pitch. Leave anything behind and they can re-grow. The other option would be an herbicide, and Bonide’s Weed Beater Ultra does a nice job on wild onions even with the cooler temperatures. Bruise the foliage before you spray, and it may take a couple of apps, but that should get them. Oh yeah, one last point. They’re very edible (as long as you didn’t spray them first). Seriously.
Do you still have spring gardening questions? Ask our experts!