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Spring Gardening Tips for Eager Green Thumbs

With the arrival of spring, many are eager to start planting their gardens.
But when faced with the decision of what to plant and when you should get it in the ground, it helps to consult with a professional who can guide you to help you pick plants that will survive the cool spring nights to bloom during the hot summer days. Consulting with professional gardeners and landscapers not only ensures your garden is the envy of the neighbourhood, but will also help protect the investment you are making in your garden.
“It’s great to see that so many people want to start planting their gardens, but due to the unpredictable spring weather we usually experience in Ontario, gardeners need to ensure they are choosing plants for their gardens that can sustain the elements,” saysDenis Flanagan, public relations manager for Landscape Ontario. “Consulting a professional is not a blow to your ego. It’s a prudent move that will help you get the most out of your plantings.”
Landscape Ontario wants to provide early spring gardeners with some ideas about what they can plant now to fill their gardens with spring colour and which bulbs they can plant now for summer blooms. Some of the plants Denis suggests planting right now include:

  • Pansies: Ideal flowers for your garden in early spring, as they flourish in cooler weather. Seedlings may be planted outside when temperatures are in the 60s and will tolerate nighttime temperatures in the 40s. They prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade.
  •  Ranunculus: Ranunculus performs well when it has six weeks of cool weather to sprout,  grow and bloom, making it ideal of early spring gardeners. It prefers to be planted in full sun.
  •  Primula: Most species of primula want moist, rich soil and a cool location with light shade. These are also ideal for eager gardeners, as newly-purchased plants can be set into the garden in early spring.
  •  Pussy willow branches: Cut pussy willow branches are a great way to bring spring indoors, as they can be used a part of a centerpiece.
In addition, some of the bulbs that gardeners can plant right now for a summer bloom include:
  • Gladiolus: Gladiolus are resilient flowers, and their bulbs can be planted now even though it is still cool. Keep in mind when planning your garden, gladiolus should be planted in full sunlight.
  •  Dahlias (tubers): Dahlias should be planted in soil that is free of frost, so ensure you hold off until May. But, when you do plant dahlias, remember they like sandy, well drained soil and they grow best in full sunlight.
  •  Caladiums (elephant ears): Due to their tropical nature, it is also best to plant caladiums in mid-late May. 
“All of these plants are also excellent choices for containers or pots, which is ideal since often this time of year garden soil tends to be wet,” adds Flanagan.
About Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association
Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association is one of the most vibrant associations of its kind, comprised of over 2,000 members, ten sector groups and nine local chapters. Its trade mission is to promote the horticulture industry in Ontario, and its public mission is to promote the joys and benefits of green spaces. For more information on the association and Green for Life, visit


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