Enter Your Delivery Zip Code to see designs available for your Zip

GROWING UP: EXTRA CARE AND ATTENTION HELPS ESTABLISH A GOOD GARDEN

Other Stories






More
 

Media Downloads

Download
Oct 15, 2015
MIck Gainan talks Fall with MY105.9

Download
May 6, 2015
Spring 2015 TV Spot

Download
May 12, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Organic Gardening

Download
May 12, 2014
Video: Geraniums as far as the eye can see!

Download
May 5, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Herbs

Download
May 5, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Tomatoes

Download
May 5, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Crop Sharing

Download
May 5, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Responsible Growing

Download
Apr 28, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Curb Appeal

Download
Apr 28, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Xeriscape

Download
Apr 21, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Pansies 2014

Download
Apr 21, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Prep Work 2014

Download
Apr 21, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Seed Starting 2014

Download
Apr 21, 2014
Garden Talk with Mick Gainan: Lawn Care 2014

Download
Aug 5, 2011
Roses for Kids
More

May 9, 2010

This is part two of a two-part story.

One thing for sure, this year I'm going to use a time-release fertilizer to give my plantings a baseline for the summer and then supplement with water soluble plant food and blossom booster weekly.  It's nearly impossible to amend our soil to 'perfect' condition. 

So, just like the multi-vitamin I take every day, the plants need supplemental nutrition to flourish. It makes a huge difference in the quality and number of blooms the plants produce later in the summer when, without proper spring and early summer nutrition, the plants begin to turn light green and leggy.

The date to remember is May 15th, the last official frost date for the Billings area. By this date, it's reasonably safe to place tender annuals and other plants outside.  But remember, last year we had snow in June! Many old timers never planted before Memorial Day.

However, there are things gardeners can be doing now.  Start by cleaning up winter mulch and removing it to the compost pile. Re-evaluate your existing landscape. Plan and prepare new beds.  Do a soil test; inexpensive DYI tests are available. Add gypsum to help amend the clay-type soils of our area, and compost to add nutrients and improve the structure of the soil. 

Use a Montana-produced compost, such as Glacier Gold Compost, to be a better 'Green' gardener. Shop locally for gardening products helps limit the impact on the environment.  Till your soil, if it's workable. 

Do you need to add new plants? Now is the best time to plant perennials, shrubs and trees.  The selection is great this time of the year. Divide or move perennials if they have not broken dormancy.  Remember the rule of thumb is "Perennials that bloom in the spring are divided in the fall".  Perennials that bloom in the summer and fall are divided in the spring. Harden off newly-purchased plants before planting. 

It is very important to use a starter fertilizer, such as Bonide Plant Starter and add compost to the planting hole.  This insures the plant gets off to a good start.

Deep water established trees, shrubs, and perennials if the ground is dry.  Feed the plants with plant-specific fertilizers. Remove mulch from around roses and give them their first feeding application of Bill's Rose Food.  (This fertilizer is also excellent for strawberries and raspberries.)

Now is the time to fertilize your trees and shrubs.  Use a slow release fertilizer that is formulated for trees and shrubs.  It is a good time to use Bonide Tree and Shrub Systemic.  This easy-to-use (no spraying) product will help prevent insect problems.  This is especially important on plants that had severe infestations last year or are prone to insect damage, such as aphids on snowball shrubs.

Get a jump start on your vegetable garden. It is safe to plant cool weather plants, radishes, carrots, beets, peas, sweet peas, lettuce, chard, onions sets, potatoes, and spinach directly in the garden.  You can also plant strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, asparagus, and horseradish. I had trouble with my cucumbers last year, so this year I'm going to buy plants that have been started in the greenhouse and plant when the sun is hot and the soil is warm.  Hopefully this year, I will have a crop.  The best one I grew last year looked more like an avocado!

Begin to water your lawn if the weather is warm and dry.  Mow your lawn if you have not done so.  Check for any winter damage from snow mold.  This fungus problem is caused when the turf remains wet from snow, rain, or poor surface drainage.  Treat the lawn with Bayer Fungus Control early in early spring at the first sign of the disease. 

Protect your planting from unfriendly visitors.  Spray with Bonide Repels All, Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent, or Plantskyd to keep deer and rabbits away.  Alternating these repellents brings the best results. You will need to keep spraying the new growth for best protection.

Now that you have your 'to-do' list, enjoy the day. You can work out a lot of life's problems digging in the dirt. The fresh air and the hopeful anticipation of planting a seed is a great way to experience life!

Jim Gainan is VP/Shareholder of Gainan's Flower and Garden Center in Billings.

Company Weddings Custom Designs Gift Cards Refer a Friend Employment
eCards Flower/Plant Info Helping Hands Affiliate Program Privacy Policy Petal Rewards ™ Reminders Hours & Locations Contact Us
Gainan's Flowers https://www.gainans.com/images/siteSettingWide/GainanFGHforwebsite-150616111038.jpg 502 N 30th St Billings, MT 59101 866-445-7390 406-245-6436

LOCATIONS Gainan's Flowers: Downtown: 502 N 30th St Billings, MT 59101 406.245.6434 Gainan's Flowers: West Store: 1211 24th St W Billings, MT 59102 406.652.1650 Gainan's Flowers: Heights Garden Center: 810 Bench Blvd Billings, MT 59105 406.248.5029

Don't Miss Out