Yay! It's spring! Yay!
But if we SHEs (Sidetracked Home Executives) aren't careful and plan ahead, we can get into a lot of trouble at the nursery. All the more reason to be organized not just with housecleaning, but with gardening. This time of year the nurseries are teaming with flowers that beseech us like friendly puppies at the Humane Society to take them home. And we're like busy bees around those beautiful flowers. After all, we survived winter and we’re sick of gray and ready for sunny colors.
Green thumbers have four rules: Plan, Prepare, Purchase, THEN Plant. If you try to prepare and plant at the same time, you’ll poop out and then those plants that you’ve taken into your care face possible death. Of course it’s not premeditated, but the plants will be just as dead.
Death by good intention
Have you ever seen a honey bee that’s got so much pollen on her feet and thighs that she can barely fly? I often wonder if some of them never make it back to their hives they’re so overloaded. You can make it back to your hive (unless you forgot to get gass) but without the 4 Ps of gardening, you could set yourself up for death by good intention.
But like those bees, we can get carried away buying more than we can plant. We fly home with our trunks full of flats of flowers and the optimism we’ll plant them all in a day. But so often we poop out in the middle of the planting and the remaining purchase is at the mercy of our next planting mood which can easily result in death for the remaining purchase. Death by good intention.
4 Steps all start with a P
Step 1 Plan~
Divide your yard into zones. When you divide up a project into manageable parts you won’t get overwhelmed. Figure out what you’d like to have brighten each zone and write down how many of each plant you want. It’ll be like making a grocery list. Don’t plan another zone until you’ve finished planting one you’ve planned. I like to add at least one perennial each year (those are the plants that come back) in each of my zones.
Step 2 Prepare~
Prepare the soil by digging it up and getting the weeds out. Dig the holes before you head to the nursery. Get your kids involved with making holes! Kids love to play in the dirt and when you start them gardening early in their childhood you'll be introducing them the the joys of gardening. Let them have their own little shovels and show them how to dig the holes a little bigger than the plant that'll go into it, so they can put potting soil under and around each plant. You could even get those plant markers and to put on the plants with your child's name on them, so the child feels ownership in the project.
Step 3 Purchase~
Take your list and limit what you buy to the amount of holes you’ve already dug. Don’t be tempted while you’re in the beauty of all the colors and fragrances. You don’t have to stick to the exact kind of flowers on your list, just the number of plants.
Step 4 Plant~
When you actually get to plant, (which is as soon as you get home from buying the plants since you have already prepared where you want to plant them) you’ll be so happy with yourself for digging all the holes first. And you won’t have the guilt that comes with unintentionally killing innocent life by leaving those beautiful plants out in the sun without water. Be sure to let your kids plant!
Every year I turn one of my pet peeves into an advantage. We have a big meadow and every spring the moles convene like they’re at some kind of Mole-A-Rama. Their underground social network rivals Face Book. They seem to converge on our meadow about when the grass starts growing. Years ago I discovered what a blessing these little rodents were when I walked through the grass and inspected the hills and noticed how rich the dirt was and I thought, ‘I should use it when planting flowers in the beds that have a great deal of clay.’ I went to my local nursery and asked what I could add to the dirt to make it as good as a potting soil. The master gardener said the dirt is already fabulous, because moles go where the dirt is good because that's where the worms are! You won’t want miss this video where I show you how to turn mole hills into potting soil.
P.S. In case you didn't know, I'm closing out all audio CD book sets and I have a great offer. Buy the CDs and get the printed book for free. Just click on the book you want and it'll take you to the order page, then click on the CDs for the set you want. I'll watch for your order to come in and I'll make sure you get the printed book free!
P.S. Just so you know I'm not the perfect gardner, here's a blog you should read. http://blog.cluborganized.com/last-week-we-showed-me-planting-a-vegetable-garden