With the tease of the warm weather last week people have been itching to get out and enjoy their gardens — the fresh spring air and vibrant colors radiating from the blooming flowers.
But per usual with New England weather, the temperature is temperamental, one day 80 degrees and sunny and the next in the 50s and cloudy.
For new gardeners this can be confusing. What plants should you buy when the weather fluctuates so much? What should you do with the plants you recently bought if it stays cold? And how do you even get started with gardening?
A couple of gardening experts, from local garden centers, shared some of their tips on creating a flourishing and blossoming garden.
“It’s all about the soil,” said Debi Hogan, who owns the Tranquil Lake Nursery in Rehoboth with her husband Warren Leach.
Hogan said before even buying plants it is important to know the area you are dealing with specifically by checking what kind of soil you have.
“Dig up a shovel full of your soil, put it in a jar and add water and watch what happens,” Hogan said. “If it settles within 24 hours then it is sandy soil.”
If the water is still a little murky, then it is loam, which is composed of sand and some clay. If it never really settles and is murky then it is clay which can be hard for planting.
Hogan said the type of soil determines which plants will work well and what to add to the soil to help plants thrive. She added that no matter what you should add compost.
“Compost, compost, compost,” Hogan said. “By adding compost it gives the richness soil needs.”
Another important factor to look at before planting, Hogan said, is how much sun the area gets.
“Full sun plants need six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day,” Hogan said. “Keep in mind if there is a tree above the area (that hasn’t grown its leaves yet) that it will provide shade in that area later in the season.”
Hogan and her husband have owned the nursery for more than 30 years. The center has examples of creatively designed gardens and plants that range from small to trees. They offer workshops at their nursery…