Mother’s Day weekend is usually planting time, but you should still exercise some caution when getting your garden ready.
DENVER — With Mother’s Day this weekend, many gardeners are thinking of flowers. Flowers are always a good gift, but did you know that besides their beauty, flowers and plants can also improve mother’s health and quality of life?
Health Benefits of Plants
Flowers and plants have many health benefits. Several studies show that looking at and/or gardening plants and flowers does the following:
- Reduces stress, decreases anxiety and improves emotional health
- Increases overall well-being, improves recovery rates, and improves positivity
- Increases attention span, enhances memory, strengthens compassion
- Increases the overall quality of life
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Edible plants and herbs can add many nutritional and medicinal benefits. Flowers and plants can add value to real estate, filter pollutants, add oxygen to the air while removing carbon dioxide, and encourage pollinators and other wildlife.
Plant knowing a hard freeze is still possible
While Mother’s Day weekend is traditionally the time to start planting flower beds and containers, there’s still a chance of a hard frost in May. Remember, the more you plant, the more work you may have to do to protect what you’ve planted from freezing. If Jack Frost is predicted, some potted plants can be brought indoors, while larger potted plants and planting beds should be covered with a blanket.
Establishing newly planted annuals and perennials requires some TLC. Make sure you use good quality container potting soil and improve the planting bed soil by adding organic soil amendments like compost or manure that is at least a year old. Using a one-time, time-release fertilizer or a water-soluble weekly fertilizer will also help establish healthy plants.
Newly planted plants need to be watered more frequently for the first week or two, then check the soil daily and only water as needed. Be sure to cover your planters, containers, and beds with mulch, which helps the soil retain moisture. And don’t forget to say goodbye, stripping faded blooms directs water and nutrients to where it matters most.
Other ways to save water – shower with a bucket
How many of us jump into a cold shower? Not many, most of us wait for the water to warm up before going in. Use this “warm up” time to catch shower water with buckets, and after you’re clean they give you containers with a drink. Using the right plant in the right place is another way to minimize maintenance and maximize water efficiency. Check the plant label and follow the recommendations – some plants need full sun, while others need partial or even full shade. Create a plant hydrozone to use water more efficiently. This is simply grouping plants according to water needs.
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These are some of our favorite plants
- For hanging baskets in the water use: Confetti Hot Spring Fling, Kwik Rocky Mtn High, Trixi CO Kaleidoscope, Verbena, Petunias & Calibrachoa are all good.
- Geranium Big EEZE Foxy Flamingo – Geraniums are Japanese beetle resistant and easy to grow.
- Orange Petunia Hells Glow are water-dilutable, new and unique in color
- sage g. Hummingbird Falls is very watery and attracts hummingbirds
- Dahlia Venti Red & White – Dahlias are always popular and have been grown in Denver in Wheat Ridge by WW Wilmore for over 100 years.
Information courtesy of Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. If you need help designing, installing or maintaining your garden or landscape, visit the ALCC website at www.alcc.com and click on “Find a Landscape Professional”.
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