Q&A: Gardening tips and recommendations for spring

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Local gardeners answer questions about spring gardening and offer tips to homeowners in or around The Woodlands area on what flowers and plants go best with each season throughout the year and how to best maintain a garden.

Asia Payne

Shades of Texas

What are some common gardening mistakes novice gardeners should know about?

Some common mistakes are not checking or adjusting an irrigation system seasonally and when planting new plants, trees or shrubs. Another mistake is not getting a clear picture of how much direct sun and shade each area of your landscape receives before selecting plants.

What are some ideal plants and flowers to plant in the spring that can survive the heavy rainfall often seen in the area this time of year?

Some good plants, flowers and trees  for the spring include the pindo palm, the windmill palm, orange drop iris, African iris, Japanese holly ferns, Southern wood ferns, dwarf yaupon holly, Aztec grass and sandy leaf fig ivy.

What is the best strategy for planting vegetables and herbs in spring?

First and foremost, plan the spot where you want to plant your herbs and vegetables. The spot will need to have at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. If you don’t have any spots in the landscape that will receive enough sunlight, consider using pots on a sunny patio or deck. It is crucial that you use good quality soil mixed with compost, and quality organic soil amendments and fertilizers. Edible gardening requires very good drainage and does not perform well in soggy soil.

What should homeowners consider before putting in new landscaping or trees?

I always highly recommend that homeowners create a complete plan before purchasing any plants or materials. It is very important that you pay close attention to the sunlight and shade in all areas of your property and choose plants, trees and shrubs accordingly. It is also important to pay attention to the mature size of the plants and trees that you consider using. As they mature, they can crowd nearby plants and trees and create shade covering where there wasn’t before. It’s important to take root systems into consideration as well. Don’t ever plant large trees with extensive root systems too close to your home, driveway, sidewalks and patios. You should use smaller ornamental trees and shrubs for those areas. Essentially, you’re creating small microclimates in which your plants, trees, and shrubs will grow.

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