Spring Has Sprung – Russell Camp from UGA Extension Edition
Myles Gleason
It is that time of year when the flowers begin to bloom and the sun comes out...

...from the dark winter clouds creating opportunities for warm days outside. What better way to spend those beautiful days outside than to grab your gardening gloves and dig into all those forgotten flower beds around the house? Russell Camp from UGA Extension has some great tips for making your yard the envy of the neighborhood in his article “Preparing for Seasonal Color”.

Photo courtesy of UGA Extension.

His first tip is “Consider what goes on underground”. Before you go out and plant your new flowers you must first prepare the soil. He recommends doing so like you are going to grow vegetables. This means spending a little extra time tilling the soil and creating the most nutrient rich environment for your flowers. Due to the unique nature of the soil in Georgia this means adding organic matter like pine hummus, cow manure or ‘planting soil’, and coarse sand until the result is roughly equal thirds each additive.

Once you have given your soil just the right amount of attention the next thing to focus on is what is happening above the ground. Camp knows that creating a blue ribbon worthy seasonal bed can make anyone run for the hills, but he has a simple mantra for everyone to follow: “Thrillers, fillers, and spillers”! The combination of these three things will make any flower bed stand out. This is his user-friendly guide to the perfect flower bed. “Thrillers” refers to the large (but not too large!) showy centerpiece of the bed. “Fillers” are the body of the bed and are used in masses or groups. “Spillers” are those plants that cascade over the side of a pot or fringe the bed.”

Flower beds are supposed to be a fun and personal springtime project so when choosing your color combinations add your signature style to the color scheme and create a bed you will want to look at every day. Remember that color is not the only important factor in your bed, texture plays a major role as well.

After you have picked the colors and textures and planted the flowers, remember to apply a layer of mulch to cut down on the need for watering, while giving your bed that perfectly polished look.

Once the planting is complete your job is not over! The bed must be maintained throughout the season. Camp says, “Keep the bed watered, weeded, and pinched back. Faded blooms (or any blooms on Coleus, frankly) should be pinched off. And be willing to pinch back those members that crowd their neighbors too much, or just want to wander out of bounds. Be more aggressive than your plants or they will be the boss!”

The easiest way to attract positive attention to your house is by planting a beautiful seasonal color bed. Use Camp’s quick tips to make everyone in the neighborhood stop and stare with envy at your beautifully adorned house.

For the complete article, click here.

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