After what feels like a long, cold winter it can seem intimidating to cleanup and start prepping for a spring garden but now is the time to get started if you haven’t already. Whether you are planning to plant annuals, perennials, trees or shrubs, or grow fruits, vegetables or herbs I recommend walking around your yard to plan before heading to the store. Take note of when and how much sun/shade each area receives to ensure you choose not only a product that looks appealing to you but something that will thrive in each particular location as well. Knowing these facts ahead of time will reduce your stress and overwhelm, plus allow the experts at the store to help you make decisions.
Other things to consider: how much time will you dedicate to upkeep? Be realistic and know your limits. There’s nothing worse than overcommitting and being stuck with an overgrown, unkept space shortly after. When in doubt, less is more. When it comes to edible plants such as fruits, vegetables and herbs, if your family doesn’t eat it or use it in any form, think again and see if it’s something you really want to add to your yard as you may want to dedicate your efforts elsewhere.
“The best thing for your garden is your shadow.” – unknown
You’ll want to prep the area before heading to the store so that you can get right to planting after purchasing your products. This entails picking up fallen leaves and branches, removing debris, and fixing any damaged fencing, edging, etc. If the project seems too overwhelming start by dedicating a bit of time, even 15 minutes, each day to cleanup or stick to focusing on one section at a time.
Another important step is to replace and/or ready your garden tools. The tools needed can vary based on the type of garden you choose (trees and bushes require different prep and upkeep than a vegetable garden) but some desired items include a watering can, weeding tool, gardening gloves, gardening knee pad, hose, rake, shovel, garden shears, hedge shears, loppers, wheelbarrow, heavy-duty hand pruners, hand rake and a hand trowel. If you will be growing a vegetable garden additional tools include a digging fork, spade, raised garden beds, and garden fencing.
We recommend going to Van Wingerden’s Home and Garden located at 8210 Portal Way in Blaine, Washington, for all of your gardening needs. Their friendly staff can answer your questions and assist you in determining what is best for your space. Check out our fun giveaway with them HERE!
Van Wingerden’s Home and Garden is family owned and operated. In addition to your exterior garden needs you can find houseplants, home decor and more! We dropped by and spoke with Jen, manager, and she answered a few questions for us. Full video can be found HERE.
Jerry: Okay, Jen, I’m ready to plant some plants on my patio. Am I better off with annuals or perennials? What’s the difference?
Jen: For hanging baskets and planters you’re better off with annuals. They’re going to flower for you all season long. The trees, shrubs, perennials, those will come back every year but they usually have a shorter flowering season; they’re great for garden beds, etc.
Jerry: (Being at the end of April in PNW Washington) Is it too early to plant?
Jen: We’re right on that verge of being okay to put everything out but I would be cautious putting out stuff like your tomatoes, peppers, squash, things like that. Even a hanging basket, you don’t want it to get too cold. Usually around Mother’s Day is the perfect time to get all of that.
Jerry: Speaking of Mother’s Day, what do you have for Mother’s Day here?
Jen: Hanging baskets are always the best seller for Mother’s Day. We also have planters, it’s always great to get Mom a really nice shrub like a hydrangea or rhododendron. We have lots of options for different ideas if you don’t want a hanging basket.
Jerry: Are there certain plants that thrive here better than others?
Jen: I personally am not the expert on that but I have people here that can help you. What we carry here is usually really great for this region and we are sure to tell you in the case that it’s not.
Van Wingerden’s Home and Garden is open Monday-Saturday from 9am-5pm with extended hours until 6pm currently for a short time. Don’t forget to check out our giveaway for TWO premium 12” hanging baskets from Van Wingerden Home and Garden HERE!