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If It’s Too Cold To Garden, Start Planning

This weekend we get to “spring” forward by turning our clocks ahead one hour. As of 11:30 this morning we are 15 days, 6 hours, 15 minutes and 24… 23… 22 seconds away from the first day of spring. Can you tell we’re excited even though those piles of snow are still outside the windows complete with a shiny layer of ice on top! Mother Nature is just not going to be letting us outside soon — well at least for the next couple weeks. So while we impatiently wait to get outdoors and turn up that soil, let’s spend some time planning and getting organized so that when the weather breaks we are ready to dig in!

Crocus

Think about your property. Would you like to start a vegetable garden? Will you be putting in a new garden area or making a raised bed? Is this the year to plant some perennials around your patio so you can enjoy them year after year? Have you decided to plant some new container gardens? Are you thinking about adding new trees to your property? First you need to consider your location, your plat of survey is great in determining the direction your property faces and will come in handy should you have to have a landscaping plan approved by your HOA or city/village.

Once you find your plat of survey, make a copy (or two) so you have a place to make plans for your yard. On the copy, you can note size and position of your deck, patio, trees, etc. To place a tree accurately, measure from 2 points at right angles, where they intersect is the location the tree should be planted. Also on the copy of the plat you can place your ‘wish list’ of what you would like to incorporate into your yard. We recommend using a pencil so you can easily edit your work!

Light Conditions
In analyzing your area, specifically consider how many hours of light will the area get each day. Typically the north sides of houses are shadier while south and west sides will get the full heat of the sun. Eastern exposures usually get morning sun. Trees or other large structures in your yard can also affect sun or shade conditions. Keep in mind existing trees will shade your yard when in full foliage this summer; even though now they look like stick charcoal drawings in the snow.

Watering
You should also consider the moisture conditions. Does the area stay wet or is it dry unless watered? Do you have a water source close by? These factors will affect the type plants you select for the location.

Other Considerations
Additionally, when you do your landscaping planning consider your time and how often you will be able to work in the garden. Is your site the blank slate of new construction? Will you need to re-work an established area in your yard? A good tool to help you figure out your site conditions is our In-store Landscape Coaching Questionnaire. With some prep work you’ll be able to get valuable advice when you are ready to act. Schedule an In-store Landscape Coaching session with one of our landscape designers. These coaching sessions are perfect for a small, simple area that you want to install yourself. E-mail landscape@thegrowingplace.com to schedule your appointment.

Don’t forget your tools. They may need a little dusting off and sharpening for the 2015 season. We will have tool sharpening services on March 28 and April 4 from 11:00am – 4:00pm at the Aurora location!

Choosing the Right Plant
So many of the natives, shade and sun-loving plants all have bloom times or a variety of foliage to give any garden nature’s beauty throughout the year. There are many resources available to help you find plants, shrubs and trees that will grow in your garden. Our favorite source is our Plant Guide. It’s available in print and online. It’s filled with information about the plants we carry to help you choose the right plant for the right place. This year we’ve included a handy questionnaire on page 188 of the print version to help you start planning. Stop on in to pick up your copy.

Good thing we have a several weeks to get organized so we can spring into the garden at first chance!

Aurora Location

2000 Montgomery Road,

Aurora, IL 60504

Phone. 630-820-8088

Naperville Location

25w471 Plank Road,

Naperville, IL 60563

Phone. 630-355-4000

Spring Hours

 Monday-Friday: 9:00am-7:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am-5:00pm 

 

Growing for the future with
right plants in right places.