Jacob Tibbs with the Home Depot explains how to select the right plants, irrigation and soil for our region and the tools to keep your yard healthy and bright all season long.
STEP ONE Pick the perfect plants Get educated on what plants will grow best in West Palm Beach and produce the most color.
• Prepping the space
o Group plants with the same sun and watering needs together. Plant in masses of 3, 5 or 7 of the same plant for the biggest visual impact.
? Don’t plant too close together. Remember to allow room for plants to mature. Check plant tags for directions on how far apart to plant.
o If planting in-ground, turn the pot upside down then tap on the bottom and shake to remove the plant. Dig a hole at least twice as wide and as deep as the pot the plant comes in. Use the empty pot as your guide.
• Know what to plant
o Before starting a gardening project, get familiar with what plants thrive in your zone according to the United States Department of Agriculture. West Palm Beach is in zone 10 and various types of annuals and perennials do well in this region.
o Annuals, such as pansies and violas, grow all season long and must be replanted each year. Perennials, such as blue sage and bush daisies, continue to bloom and thrive year after year without the need for annual replanting. Include a mix of annuals and perennials to give your garden variety in color.
o Plant Vigoro Annuals in flower beds and along borders for bursts of color that will last throughout the growing season.
o Drop N’ Bloom plants are ideal for any region. Just place in your favorite plants in a container or in the ground and watch them bloom.
• Container gardening
o Container gardening is a fast way to bring lush, vibrant color and texture to your outdoor living space whether you have the room to garden in the traditional way or not. Container plants that thrive in West Palm Beach include angelonias, lantanas, pentas and verbenas.
o A healthy container garden begins with the right soil. Use organic soil like Vigoro Organic Potting Mix or Soil for planting in a container garden or raised garden bed.
o Consider the Thriller, Filler, Spiller container gardening technique:
? The Thriller is the show-stopping centerpiece that adds height, drama, and movement.
? The Filler adds medium-height structure and color to fill the space.
? The Spiller is a trailing plant that will drape over the edge of the container. It adds low-growing dimension and softens the edges of your container garden design.
o When getting started, look at where your container will live.
? If it will be visible from only one angle, keep the taller plants and flowers toward the rear of the container.
? If it will be visible from more than one angle, place the taller plants and flowers in the center of the container.
STEP TWO Keep your plants healthy Get more boom out of blooms by taking proper care of plants. Create the best environment with the right fertilizer, and pruning and watering method.
o Feeding plants with fertilizer produces a healthier, bigger and more disease- and pest-resistant garden.
o Choose a fertilizer with a balanced mixture of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), and follow directions for amount to apply. All-in-one fertilizer, like Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed All Purpose Weed Preventer, feed and help control pests and diseases.
o No matter what fertilizer you used, be sure to water thoroughly after feeding the plants. Feed every 4-6 weeks, or as directed, but don’t overfeed! Too much fertilizer causes weak growth, which attracts pests and diseases.
o Don’t be afraid to cut off flowers as they fade to produce more blossoms and extend the color cycle. Deadhead flowers by snipping off faded blooms. For tall-stemmed perennials, cut at the base of the plant’s stem. Avoid removing leaves that provide essential nutrients for future blooms.
o Make this task effortless by doing a little each day.
• Efficient watering options
o Save on water costs by getting smart about irrigation.
o Drip irrigation kits include everything you need to water your garden efficiently. By delivering water directly to the roots of plants, these systems are 20 to 50 percent more efficient than traditional sprinklers and can save up to 30,000 gallons of water per year.