Noon Edition airs Fridays at 12 p.m. on WFIU.
Spring has technically sprung once again. Despite the freezing temperatures and wintry mix, it is that time of year again for WFIU’s annual spring gardening show!
Local gardening experts Helen May and Don Adamson are on hand to answer your questions: How does the cold weather affect your spring gardening schedule? What are some safer alternatives to pesticides? With El Niño passing, what plants will do best in the scorching hot summer?
Helen May: Retired Co-owner of May’s Greenhouse
Don Adamson: Retired Manager of Bloomington Valley Nursery
Conversation: Spring Into Gardening 2018
Helen and Don imparted their plant wisdom for many of our listeners and callers. Here are some of their gardening tips and advice:
- Tulip poplar’s are our state tree and they need room to grow. Be careful not to plant them near where you might park your car because tulip tree scales may drop sap on your car.
- If you want to add lime to your soil, Don says pelletized is the easiest to work with. Helen says it is best to add lime in the fall.
- If you want to attract hummingbirds, you need plants that bloom for an extended period of time. It’s best if they have a long throat such as a petunia or snapdragons.
- You may get winter damage on your plants, but don’t throw them out immediately. Give them a month or so with fertilizer and you may see some of your plants survive.
- Do not prune flowering shrubs too early. Wait until after they bloom. Prune flowering shrubs that bloom late, like Rose of Sharon.
- If your plants have trouble growing, get your soil tested to see if there are soil deficiencies or excesses.
- Most trees and plants that thrive on acidic soil enjoy coffee grounds. Blueberries are one acidic plant that love coffee grounds.
- If your tomatoes are getting fungus, make sure you don’t water them too much. If there is too much rain, you can spray them with fungicides in between rains to help prevent fungus.