With the threat of frost behind us, we have reached that yearly spring milestone that Gardeners look forward to each year. It is safe to plant those summer annuals and vegetables to enjoy through the summer!
What’s next? You get excited and pick up all your favorites for the gardens and pots and plant them with excitement for those beautiful pictures you see on the tags. But then time goes by and you water them and take care of them but they just don’t grow as hoped. What Happened??
The Soil is the foundation of success.
Remember no matter how nice the plant materials, you can’t achieve the success you are looking for without well-prepared soil.
When preparing the planting area, it is important to work soils that are of the proper moisture content. Dry soil can promote plantings drying out faster than desired, this is when wilting and plant loss can occur much faster as the roots don’t have a chance to establish.
But did you know working with soil that is too wet will result in damage to the soil structure and can be just as bad?
The result will be soils that become very hard, poorly drained, poorly aerated, and can be as bad as dry soil, limiting even the best plantings and causing the same issue.
Not to mention if the soil is constantly wet this can lead to fungus and root rot that will equally damage plant structure and cause rapid decline and plant loss. For this reason, many annual planting beds are slightly raised so that the plantings can live in an ideal soil base since after all they only have a short period of time to grow their best before fall flowers are installed.
As Commercial Landscape Management prepares to plant annuals we add organic soil products to promote soil balance and an ideal growth medium.
A quick check when planting that can be done before tilling or working the soil, is to run a simple test to determine if the moisture content is right.
Take a handful of soil and squeeze it into a ball. If it crumbles easily when touched the soil is ready to be worked, however, if it remains in a tight ball, it is too wet and you should not work it until it dries out further.
Back to those raised soil planting beds for annuals…All garden soils can benefit from the incorporation of organic matter to help improve soil balance. These Organic materials include things like compost, manure, or peat. These Organic amendments can be added in the spring or fall or both before tilling the bed space to keep the soil levels balanced and ideal for annual plantings.
The Clay Soils and the influence of the Pines and Oaks of the greater triangle area create acidic soils that are naturally compacted, add-in development, and man-made soil compaction making soil culture even more important when creating an annual display. Doing this annually will result in garden soils that can support excellent plant growth, however even with this ultimately amended flower bed soils should be fully amended and new soil added about every 3 to 5 years.
If you have underperforming flower beds it may be time to upgrade the soil, the Commercial Landscape Management team is ready to assist you with the creation or modification of your current flower bed.
Each site’s flower beds create that unique eye-catching display that can be memorable, starting in the soils can be the best spot to create outstanding annual flower beds so that whatever you pick can do its best!
So if you are already a customer of commercial landscape management be sure to reach out to your account manager and ask for a free soil test before our pride livens up your beds. or simply reach out to one of our team members here.