How to Help Your Garden Grow
It’s that time of year when we love to be outdoors and tending to our gardens can be relaxing. Not to mention the vitamin D that you get from the sun! Don’t forget to put on your sunblock and as you spruce up the garden. Before enjoying that beautiful garden, here are a few suggestions to help your garden grow!
Check Your Garden Tools
First things first, make sure your garden shears are sharpened and the handle on your shovel isn’t broken. This might be a good time to pick up a new fun pair of garden gloves. Before you go shopping, are there any tools that you wish you had last year? This way when you go to clean out your garden you have all the tools that you need to get started. Something that I have found helpful for planting annuals is a bulb planter. It may be made for planting bulbs but I have found it to be the perfect size for planting those six-pack annuals.
Clean Up Your Garden
Now is a great time to clean out all those fall leaves, trim down last years dead growth and pull weeds. Some of the old growth can be remixed into your garden soil like leaves and grass clippings. Diseased plants should not be remixed into your garden soil or compost. I bury banana peels near my roses and use coffee grounds, as well as egg shells, as fertilizer in the garden. First I grind the eggshells mixed with coffee grounds in the food processor before mixing into the soil.
For the first time, I decided to try and mulch the dead growth from last year. It went pretty well and I got those fall leaves and dead growth cleaned out. Here are a few things though that I learned about mulching:
- If you have dead growth that’s pretty tall, it can smack you in the head when being fed through the mulcher and that doesn’t feel too good.
- Dead rose branches hurt your hands when you put them in the mulcher, yes, even when I wore gloves.
- That candy wrapper that was thrown into the garden from Halloween last year doesn’t mulch.
Time to Plant!
When your garden is cleared out, it’s time to get down and dirty!
In Kansas, we are in zones 5-,7 so when purchasing seeds or plants be sure to check the zone for best survival from our temperamental Kansas weather.
Now comes the really hard decision: Do you plant annuals or perennials?
Annuals are ones that you plant every year (annually) and perennials are supposed to come back every year. When choosing plants think about where your garden is located. Is it shady or sunny?
A local garden center should be able to help you with choosing plants for the type of area where you are wanting to plant. I learned the expensive way that you don’t want to put plants meant for the shade in the beautiful sunny garden.
Are you interested in creating a garden with native Kansas plants? I recently went to a lecture given by Dyke Arboretum and learned a lot about native Kansas plants. Did you know that we have a plant called Moonshine Yarrow?
Local Garden Centers
I usually purchase my plants from Kaw Valley Greenhouse because of the hardness of their plants and their variety. This year, I actually purchased a flat at Johnson’s Garden Center and was pleasantly surprised at the knowledge and helpfulness of their employees! To make it easy for you I have created a list of local greenhouses that all have a long history in Wichita!
Kaw Valley Greenhouse
Family owned and grown in Manhattan, Kan.
600 S Tyler (Kellogg & Tyler)
6820 W Central (Central & Ridge)
2120 N Woodlawn (21st & Woodlawn)
Johnson’s Garden Center
2707 W 13th St N
6225 E Shadybrook
3640 S. Topeka
15550 E. Kellogg
3105 N. Hillside
Started as vegetable growers in Pleasantview, Kan.
8524 West 13th North (13th & Tyler)
9747 East 21st Street North (21st & Webb)
3531 North Rock Road (Rock & 35th)
5043 S Seneca
2200 S Hillside
11200 W Kellogg Dr
Tree Top Nursery
5910 East 37th North