Tips on planting flowers during early spring

LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) – Every year, the cold of winter melts away, and spring brings a new beginning, and a colorful part of that is blooming flowers. There are do’s and don’ts this time of year with planting.

“You can garden early,” said Joe Ellis with Sunshine Grow Shop. “You just have to garden smart.”

These warmer temperatures may have you itching to get out to plant flowers, and Ellis said you don’t have to wait. It comes down to picking out the right plants that can handle the chill of early spring.

“If you look at our flower shop, 98% of what we got here can be put out safely right now,” said Ellis.

He said hearty plants like cyclamen, ranunculus, violas, snapdragons, and strawberries handle colder temperatures.

“You can garden with pansies right now, and you’ll have no problems whatsoever,” said Ellis. “I’ve seen snow on these plants before.”

And, don’t bother bringing these plants inside or covering them up when the temperatures drop.

“You’ll do more damage to your pansies and violas and other cold nature plants by bringing them inside where it’s hot, and the sunlight is reduced,” Ellis said. “You’re better off just leaving them outside.”

However, there are plants you should hold off on.

“If you’re going to put out impatiens, begonias, and things like that, I think you really ought to wait,” he said. “It would be a wrong move to do that right now.”

If you plant less hearty plants now, you’ll want to cover them on a cold night.

Ellis said you can plant some vegetables too.

“Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, any types of plants that like it cold,” he explained.

He said herbs like mint and rosemary are safe but wait to plant basil.

If you’d rather wait on planting all together until the last average frost in late April-early May, Ellis said there are still things you can do now.

“Clean out the leaves from your flower beds,” he said. “I was doing that just a couple of days ago. You can remove dead branches, dead blooms from old pansy beds that survived the winter. You can start tilling your soil up, bringing in some topsoil/compost blend from one of the suppliers around here and mulch.”

Ellis said this makes it easier when you decide to test out your green thumb.

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