Planting 101

It is that time of year again. A time when nature begins its glorious ascent in to summer.  You may or may not have begun gardening for the season, but here are some tips on good planting practices and planning your planting.

One question we are frequently asked at Little Creek and Sherwood Nurseries is “when is it the most optimal time to begin planting for the season?” Most of our clientele are based in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Beaumont, St. Albert or Fort Saskatchewan. This means that they are subjected to the harsh realities of winter in central Alberta. In a region, such as this, it is recommended to wait until the ground is thoroughly thawed and there is a minimal chance of snow or frost. This in most cases will generally fall around the beginning to middle of May, so now would be a good time to begin planning your planting for the season and getting in touch with your local nursery.

Once the ground has thawed and temperatures are beginning to warm up (late April or early May), you’ll want to turn over and mix up your soil with a shovel or rototiller. This aerates your garden and spreads out the top, nutrient-rich organic layer throughout your soil. It’s also a good idea to mix in a bit of fresh compost or manure to add nutrients to your soil, especially if you are gardening in a raised bed or containers. About one ice cream pail’s worth of compost per yard of soil should be plenty.

If it’s your first season gardening or if you are trying out something new, don’t hesitate to discuss your master plan with other gardeners or nursery staff during your visits. Experienced gardeners or nursery experts have plenty of tips and suggestions and can help you pick out planting varieties that are suitable to the conditions within your landscape.

Another thing to keep in mind is when the planting you chose begins to bloom and flower. This is different for many plants and is something to keep in mind when planning. Combinations can be created to provide a consistent blooming among your planting. As one plants colour fades, another will be beginning it transformation. When purchasing plants take note of when they bloom. This information can generally be found on the tag of the plant.

Planting is a great way to make your own contribution nature. With proper planting, you can create interesting spaces, manufacture moods and most importantly create something that provides beauty to the landscapes we inhabit. So get out there and keep making your outdoor living dreams come to life!