planning

Ok let’s dig out our gardening tools and get to work!

Oh you thought I meant outside? Nope not today, it’s too cold! But you can still work on your garden from the comfort of your own home! Head on out to your local library or your favorite book store and thumb through some great gardening books or magazines. Inspiration is the key to success!

There are many ways of collecting data for this year’s garden. You can pull out pages of catalogs, write notes, bookmark favorite websites but a great and easy way to keep all your thoughts together is by using either Pinterest or Houzz. Both of these are great modern visualization tools. They are simple to use and simple to share!

We, as designers, work year-round with our clients to bring their outdoor living space dreams to reality and our designs are driven by our client’s visions. By using these modern tools we can easily communicate our likes, dislikes and inspirations simply by sharing a picture!

So grab your hot cocoa and start visualizing your garden. While you are at it check out our Pinterest and Houzz sites to get your creative juices flowing.

Spring Bulbs

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Wake up!

So as us humans slowly wake up from our semi hibernation, you’ll soon notice that nature is waking up as well. It’s never too early to think about your landscape!

In the coming weeks, as the temperatures rise and the snow melts, we’ll begin to see the first signs of spring. Bulbs will peek up out of the ground, grass will slowly turn from brown to green and the buds on trees and shrubs will begin to swell for soon the leaves will burst out for spring. Rejoice!

spring bulbs

But let’s get ahead of the game and think about our landscape now, even if there is still snow on the ground. Big picture: set a goal for your landscape! Maybe you would like to add a new planting bed, rearrange the perennial garden or update your patio (maybe even create a built in grill!).

Here are some tips for spring:

  • Now is a great time to do some dormant pruning. Prune trees and shrubs for corrective measures by removing cross branches and dead/diseased parts of the plants. Just wait on those spring blooming plants or you’ll be sacrificing those beautiful spring blooms!
  • Start planning your garden. This is the time to peruse your garden catalogs and make a list of your must get plants!
  • Once the snow is gone it’s time to dig out the garden gloves and get to cleaning up the garden. Remove dead plants, old bedding plants, etc. Clean up leaf debris, cut back perennials. Once you have a clean slate, it’s time to mulch the garden.
  • Get your lawn ready by using a pre-emergent before the weeds take over. Fix the areas affected by winter damage with some soil and seed. Once the grass begins to grow, resume watering.
  • Don’t forget about annuals. You’ll want to prepare your planting beds or containers for them. Feeling inspired you can plant an early spring container to welcome spring! These include forced bulbs and frost friendly annuals. Be sure to wait until your area is frost free to plant summer annuals.

Remember that goal you set, make sure to incorporate that in your “to-do” list.

The work is never done in the landscape, but once spring has sprung and you’ve tackled your to-do list you can start to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Is your goal to big for you tackle yourself?

Contact Van Zelst Inc.  to help you meet that goal!

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How does your garden grow?

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Well since it’s not quite warm enough to get your tomato’s going why not start with a cool season garden? There are lots of great veggies you can get started to brighten up your dinner plate.

Lettuce: All lettuces need loose, well-drained soil. Sow in open ground after frost; barely cover seeds. The best types to grow in our climate are: Butterhead or Boston, Looseleaf varieties and Romaine. The Looseleaf and Romaine varieties are the most heat tolerant.

Curly Leaf Kale: Sow seeds in place and thin to 1 1/2 to 3 ft. apart; or set out transplants at the same spacing. Grown for their leaves, which can be steamed, stir fried, sautéed, or added to soups. Curly-leafed kales form compact clusters of leaves that are tightly curled.

Swiss Chard: This is actually a form of beet grown for leaves and stalks instead of roots. It is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in home gardens. New leaves grow up from the center of the plant. Regular green and white chard looks presentable in flower garden, and multi-colored chard looks even better.

Broccoli: All types of broccoli are cool-season plants that tend to bolt into flower at high temperatures, so plant them to mature during cool weather. In cold-winter areas, set out young plants 2 to 4 weeks before last frost (young plants resist frost but not hard freezes). Space plants 1 1/2–2 ft. apart in rows and leave 3 ft. between rows. Harvest 50 to 100 days after setting out plants. Cut heads before clustered buds begin to open. Include 5–6 in. of edible stalk and leaves.

Cauliflower: Easiest to grow in cool, humid regions. Where summers are hot, grow it to harvest well before or well after midsummer, and select heat-tolerant varieties. Start with small plants. Space them 1 1/2–2 ft. apart in rows and leave 3 ft. between rows. When heads first appear, tie up the large leaves around them to keep them white.

Arugula: Arugula has a nice peppery mustard flavor, which goes well when mixed with other greens. It grows best in cool weather. Thin to about 6 in. apart. Harvest tender young leaves; older, larger ones usually taste too sharp.

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