What to do in your Garden During Lockdown

The Covid-19 Pandemic has certainly changed the way most people are doing things in the past few weeks.  At Living Earth we are adjusting our location hours, practicing social distancing at all times, taking employees temperatures 2 times daily and have expanded our sick leave policy to accommodate anyone who comes down with Covid-19 or has to care for a loved one with Covid-19.

Most of you have cabin fever by now so our suggestion is to get out in your garden.  Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitating normal immune system function.

Check for signs of growth, most plants will be starting to bud very soon,you can cut forsythia or magnolia branches before their buds open and force them indoors for some early spring color.

Remove winter mulch from around perennials or, if already well composted, work into the top layer of the soil. Clear away dead leaves and debris from the soil surface so you’re ready to plant.

A good time to divide many perennials is just before their spring growth has begun.Dividing perennials is a budget-friendly way to fill your garden with more plants or share them with friends. It’s also good for keeping your existing perennials healthy; sometimes, if your plants grow in a large clump, the middle can thin out after a few years, leaving a bare spot. Dividing the clump will encourage fresh, new growth.

Fill your bird feeders, now’s a good time to take them down, wash them out, and fill them up with fresh seed or nectar for spring.

Time to brighten up your garden with some annuals for a pop of color. Some full sun options…

  1. Angelonia is a spreading annual with upright flower spikes that resemble miniature snapdragons. Flower colors include white, pink, purple, lavender, and lavender-pink. Angelonia can be used as a border planting, a ground cover, or as a trailing plant for mixed containers.
  2. Bluebonnet: This popular low-maintenance winter annual is now available in white and pink, in addition to the classic blue.
  3. Globe Amaranths are versatile, often overlooked summer annuals that thrive in the Texas heat. Varieties range in size from 8 inches to 48 inches. They vary in color from whites to pinks, and from light lavenders to dark rich purples.
  4. Petunias: 3 types of petunia made the list, however one can plant all 3 and create a color array of flowers. Laurel Bush petunia, Cherry and Silver petunias are all hardy Texas-friendly annuals.
  5. Zinnias produce disease-resistant mounds of color that last until frost when planted in late summer. All varieties produce vibrant colors that will brighten the cool autumn days.

Partial Shade options…

  1. Texas Sage: This upright tender perennial provides rich color for annual bedding schemes. Its deep red flowers are borne on 2 to 2.5 foot, open spikes that bloom from summer to autumn. Plants grow to about a foot wide and bear hairy, oval and heart-shaped leaves.
  2. Rio Series Mandevilla: These compact plants grow best in patio containers. They can be grown alone or mixed with other annuals wherever a splash of color is needed. They tolerate summer heat, but would benefit from some afternoon shade.
  3. Cora Vinca: These are tolerant to heat and humidity, and are also deer-resistant. They are available in a wide array of colors, with either upright or trailing habits. Cora vinca flowers throughout the summer, boasting some of the largest flowers in its genus.
  4. Mexican Feather Grass: This plant is native in North America, to mountains in west Texas and along the New Mexico border. It’s become widely used throughout hospitable areas of the US. Given the right conditions: well-drained soil, the right amount of water, and adequate sunlight – this grass can actually become invasive outside of its native range.
  5. Caladium The brilliant foliage of this plant is often translucent, allowing light to pass through your garden wherever it resides. These plants easily brighten the shady spots in your landscape despite their lack of flowers. Caladium has leaves shaped like hearts, arrows, or lances, in color combinations of red, pink, rose, white, and green.

Remove winter mulch from around perennials or, if already well composted, work into the top layer of the soil. Clear away dead leaves and debris from the soil surface so you’re ready to plant.

Now would be the time to work in layer of Living Earth Organic Compost and provide a nice 2”-3” layer of your favorite mulch. If you’re building a new garden and/or new flower bed, Living Earth has a variety of soil blends that could help create that “just perfect” garden!

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