Spring fever

Carol Bray
Isanti County Master Gardener

Spring Fever is an annual occurrence that seems to strike every gardener I know. And, Spring Fever can lead to all kinds of impulsiveness that can be hard on the pocketbook and possibly leave one scratching their head and wondering “where can I stick that plant that I just had to have.”

The gardener in you can be savvy with a little planning and awareness. Recognize these key factors before you go to the garden centers this spring:

Take stock, make a list and set a budget. Look around your garden to note plants that are dead or damaged. Decide on your budget so you can prioritize.

Photograph and measure containers. Place your containers in their “home” location and take a photo. Note the diameter and depth of each pot on paper. Determine how much potting soil you’ll need by using the online calculator: jolllylane.com/greenhouse/growing-tips/soil-calculators.php.

Review last year’s garden. Hopefully you took photos or kept a journal or have a good memory to confirm where you’ll need plants that need replacement or divided or added to.

Choose hues. Selecting a color palate is key when making choices. Here are some good color combinations: pink and purple, orange and silver, white and green and blue/purple and yellow.

Bring pictures of the plant you want if you do not know the Latin or scientific name for the plant you desire. Common names and people’s pronunciations of plants vary.

Make a bouquet. As plants wither and die, they leave gaps.  Cut samples of the leaves and flowers that are established so you can make a wise choice in plants that will harmonize in your garden.

Buy your plants after they have bloomed in the garden center—usually for a reduced price. Remember to allow enough space in your garden for each plant at its mature size. Do your homework—know your zone, sun and desirable mature size requirements of plant.

For more information, visit the U of M Ext. website at www.extension.umn.edu or call the Isanti County Master Gardeners at 763 689-8254. You can also visit us on Facebook: Isanti County Master Gardeners.