Buy and plant pansies now for better root growth and vigor going into the cooler months. I have much better success with the smaller flower varieties; they stay perky during the really cold days!
Here are some tips for planting pansies.
Lightly till or turn the soil with a shovel. Add some organic matter and work into the area.
Pansies like sun, so make sure the bed will get four or more hours of sunlight per day. Consider that trees shading an area today will drop all of those leaves and allow more sun to shine on the bed during winter months.
Pansies look best when planted close together in masses. Use flower colors that are the same, or try mixing just two colors together.
Bright colored flowers, like yellow and white or light blue and white, are more noticeable from the street. Pansies look great in containers, too.
Because pansies are heavy feeders, use a liquid fertilizer every two to four weeks.
Two additional garden tips this week:
Surprise lily or red spider lily, Lycoris, is blooming now. These bulbs grow leaves in the spring, which die to the ground. Then, in the fall, beautiful flowers emerge. They are easy to grow. Bulbs are available from friends and through mail order.
Deer and squirrels love to eat tulip and crocus bulbs. This year, when planting, place chicken wire over the bulbs and then add the soil.
Todd Goulding provides residential landscape design consultations. Contact him at www.fernvalley.com or 478-345-0719.