There’s no denying the harshness of this winter ‘13-’14. Here in Western NY, the snow is deep, but not so deep. The sun is shining, the temps are in the 20’s (okay, down to single digits at night) and traffic is moving briskly. You might guess, as my friend from Atlanta says, we are used to this harshness. What can we gardeners do to survive these cold winter months?
Seed catalogs. Get on their mailing lists and learn, dream, order. Look up a plant online and you’ll probably be inundated with choices. Don’t forget to check out the gardening tools and the latest in deer repellents.
These catalogs contain valuable information. Hardiness zones, height, width of the plant, etc. Before you fall in love with a plant, check if it will survive in your agricultural zone. Mine is a 4/5. Anything higher and the health of the plant is in jeopardy.
Annuals – favorites for easy color without fuss, but keep the old blossoms trimmed (called ‘deadheading’) for continual blooms.
Pansies—Darlings of spring, they may fade in the heat but you can replace them with…
Zinnias—‘Profusion,’ any color. 12-15 inches high and about the same wide, they are spectacular bloomers.
Marigolds—French for quick, petite blooms and the African ones for tall, late. Pot up the large ones for fall patio color.
Sunflowers are a pure joy. Include a few here and there.
Petunias—it might be easier to buy plants, but they are not difficult to grow from seed.
Many, many more choices are available. Dream, plan! Spring will be here before you know it.