Early Spring Color

pansy_lavender_12smThe long, cold, and dreary winter seems to be hanging on as our desire for spring color grows. Fortunately there are spring interest annuals and perennials available now to satisfy our need for a glimpse of things to come. Pansies and violas are among the happiest of flowers in an amazing array of colors. Primroses in Crayola crayon shades are in their prime. English daisies in hues of red and pink brighten any garden bed or container, and spring blooming bulbs are putting on a show.

As long as you are prepared to cover your plants when the temperatures dip below freezing, you can safely plant them in your beds or containers. At Waterloo Gardens we specialize in creating beautiful container gardens for all seasons so stop by this week and brighten your outdoor entrances for the coming holiday and talk to one of our gardening experts if you have any questions at all!

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Pansy Hanging Baskets

Friday was a rainy and raw day but I took advantage of the time indoors to pot up a few pansy hanging baskets to give my yard a bit of color.

I used 10″ pots to plant in.  I selected 4 pots of pansies (went with a blue and yellow theme) and 3 small pots of ivy for filler.

Pansies really thrive with fertilizer so I added a slow release mix, (I chose Osmocote), into the potting soil.  Slow release fertilizers will feed your plants over a series of months.  When used according to the directions, it will feed throughout the growing season without risk of chemical burn.  Remember – with fertilizer, more is not better.

While potting, I made sure that the potting soil that I added around the flowers was packed in well and there were no air pockets around the roots.  This will cause the roots in that particular area to dry out and/or freeze.  After planting I watered well.

Despite the wind and nighttime temperatures falling below freezing, I placed my new baskets in their holders.  Today they are none the worse for the wear.  I did have to give them another thorough watering since the wind dried out the soil.

A few pansy tips:

Pansies will survive the frost and freezing temperatures, however, make sure they are well watered.  The moisture actually protects the roots.  It is a “dry freeze” that could be their demise.  Also, although the plants are fine, you may need to deadhead any affected flowers by snipping them off just above the first set of leaves.  New flower buds will soon form and bloom again.