Think Spring! Tips to Jump Start Your Garden


Now that the days are getting longer and warmer, homeowners in the Tri-state region are thinking about getting outdoors and enjoying nature once again. Down to Earth Living, Hudson Valley’s most expansive home and garden décor business, is ready to help customers with their vegetable gardens, perennial displays, flowering shrubs and trees—everything necessary to beautify your yard, home and patio, and garden and offers the following tips.

The first order of business is to make sure those shovels, rakes, spades and hoes are in good working order: blades sharpened, tools clean and free from corrosion. Last year’s pots should be cleaned as well to eliminate the possibility of disease. Check out all your supplies—fertilizers, plant supports and the like—to make sure you have everything on hand so you don’t have to keep running back to the store to pick things up. Just so you know, Down to Earth Living offers home delivery on everything they sell.

Spring cleaning outdoors is just as important as inside. Rake out weeds and any other debris. Divide fast-spreading perennials like day lilies, Shasta daisies and Hostas so they have room to grow. Replant them immediately elsewhere on your property or share your bounty with friends!

Now while tree and shrubbery branches are still bare, it is the perfect time to prune back old wood and shape plants before they put their energy into new growth. Good candidates for early pruning include Butterfly Bush, Honeysuckle, Hydrangea and summer-blooming Spirea, Crepe Myrtle, Rose and Wisteria.

Now that you have a clean canvas to work with, what’s next? If you’ve already started seeds for cool season crops like lettuce, broccoli and potatoes indoors, be sure to keep the roots moist but not saturated with water. Keep the seedings near a sunny window once they start to spout until daytime temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for at least seven consecutive days before you think about planting them in the ground. Seedlings tend to get leggy if the room is too warm so aim for a temperature in the high 50s for sturdier, stockier seedlings.

Once your seedlings have one or two sets of leaves, start with a half-strength organic fertilizer which provides a range of nutrients, including micronutrients. You only want one seedling per pot, so once you see two sets of leaves, choose the healthiest, strongest-looking seedling to keep. Snip the other one off at the soil line and discard.

When you’re ready for those outdoor flowers, remember that pansies are happy with cooler night temperatures and make a cheerful display in planters and in borders. When planted in groupings, spring-blooming azaleas and rhododendrons make a show-stopping array. There are literally an endless number of plants and color combinations you can mix and match to make your outdoor space uniquely yours.

One last tip, keep in mind that Rockland County soils are generally acidic. Vegetable gardens are most productive in neutral soil. The addition of lime to your garden now will enhance your results.

About Down to Earth Living This gracious store provides outdoor furnishings and beautiful home decor and is located on 12.5 acres

in Pomona attracts customers from Rockland, Bergen, Orange, Westchester and even Fairfield County in Connecticut. The garden center is filled with perennials, flowers, shrubs and trees, with new arrivals coming in every week. The 10,000 square foot showroom has an incredible selection of contemporary, classic, traditional and transitional teak, aluminum and all-weather dining and deep-seated furniture, as well as gas firepits for chilly nights. Located at 1040 Route 45, Down to Earth Living is open 9 am – 5 pm daily and can be reached at 845-354-8500 or via their website at .

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