Our landscape has suffered from a strange winter. Like you, I am sure we had some cold but lots of warm weather too. Some plants have been killed back but others are flourishing. The weeds really loved it. So, it is time to get active and renew the good looks that make a landscape attractive.
It’s out with the weeds and in with the new flowers. During a recent trip to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, the ‘wildflower’ look really got my attention. Have you noticed how the Disney Gardeners mix different plants and colors together? It gives that wildflower appearance as if the plants just grew there. Some noted in the plantings are the coreopsis, salvias of many types, delphiniums, marigolds, pentas and more. It says you can put many flowers together in gardens and they are going to look great. Well that is what I am doing.
First you have to remove the weeds and then loosen the soil. My soil is sand like most in Florida so I also add lots of organic matter to the beds. This can include compost, peat moss, composted manure and garden soils sold at garden centers. Gardeners often ask how much of these so I say as much as you can ¿ at least several inches.
Next come the plants. The garden centers are full of the Disney selections and more. I choose bush daisies, whirling butterflies and salvia for one spot. The plants are pictured ready to go into the ground. These are all perennials and have the potential to last through the summer and fall. They just need some good care.
One more thing I like to do for these plantings is add a light mulch. It can help spread the time between waterings. This season I am experimenting with is the pine barks. Did you know you can get this mulch in different grades from landscape supply companies? The favorites for our yard are the mini nuggets and fines. The fines add a nice even look to the soil surface and by the end of the season become soil-like. They also help make alkaline soils acid. Another mulch we like a lot is the new Scotts Florida Select eucalyptus mulch. It is produced in Florida and the portions weave together to keep the weeds down but let the moisture and nutrients through. These are all great coverings for your soils.
Lastly don’t forget to feed your perennials. I suggest you use a slow release product. This feeds the plantings continually. If you are like me, you most likely miss some of the feedings times. These continuous release products don’t and help keep the plantings healthy.