Seasonal Planting Practices – Spring 2015
Spring is almost here! As we gear up for a busy season ahead, it’s time to start thinking about your outdoor design for the spring, summer and fall.
Many of our clients from our past projects appreciate occasional tips to keep their yard looking fantastic, so we’d like to share some spring seasonal planting practices so you can keep your newly remodeled outdoor landscaping features looking great.
We are nearing the start of the window in mid- to late spring, which is ideal bulb-planting time. You should wait until after the last frost date to do so, although we can safely say it’s passed for the greater Seattle area of Western Washington, even though it’s only February. Since April through June is the best bulb-planting time in the Pacific Northwest, now is the best time to plan your spring and summer garden and purchase bulbs appropriately. Bulb floral favorites are dahlia, begonia, freesia, and iris. When planting, be sure the soil is well drained, since you will need to keep it continually moist with fresh water immediately after planting.
Shrubs & Trees
Although fall (early November) is commonly believed to be the best time to plant trees and shrubs, early spring is just as good for shrub-planting here in the Northwest. You will need to do plenty of planning, and make sure to get it done before any new growth appears (typically in late March). Before planting, prep the pits and have plenty of water, backfill and fertilizer ready. Dig your pits at least six inches deeper than the ball of earth around the tree or shrub’s roots (or 2-3 feet for plants with bare roots), and a minimum of a foot wider than the ball of earth or spread of roots. The pit should have straight sides and have a slight mound in the middle to help encourage drainage of moisture. After it’s planted, the soil around the base of the tree should be 1-2 inches higher than the surrounding soil level – otherwise, the plant may suffocate because oxygen cannot access the root system as it needs to.
For those planning a home vegetable garden, March and April are going to be busy! The frosty winter days and nights are nearing an end, and you can start planting things like lettuce, spinach and tomatoes under a cloche. Get a round of potatoes planted around St. Patrick’s Day, and in April, remove the cloches and plant your eggplant, broccoli, peppers, beets, chard, kale, peas, strawberries and bulb onions. Click here for a more detailed timetable.
Not sure what to plant this spring? For some of the top native plants to the Pacific Northwest that are easy maintenance, click here.
If you want to make your backyard a beautiful gathering place for friends, family, and neighbors give us a shout for a free consultation and we’ll get started on a beautiful outdoor feature made with your space in mind!