Brighten up your garden this spring
If you’re the typical Bahamian, there is nothing like a beautiful garden to perk up your spirits. And with the last chills and dullness of winter finally evaporating, it’s high time to embrace the warmer temperatures and vibrancy of spring as it sneaks in. The best way to celebrate this new season is to bring life to your own yard after the cool winter.
Gardening is not only therapeutic but it makes you appreciate your own little plot of paradise even more, knowing that it was your effort that helped it to happen.
While January and February would have been great months for your spring garden, Bruce Pinder, manager of Rocky Farms Nursery on Seabreeze Lane, said that it’s not too late to start.
Pinder said that the first thing you will want to do is to prepare your flower beds with some soil, peet moss and cow compost. You want to ensure it is evenly and thickly prepared, especially if you have a dry or rocky yard.
Once this done, you will need to look into getting annuals like marigolds, petunias and begonias. Bulbs are also a good spring option when looking for the right plants to grow at this point. These would include caladiums and gladiolas, for example. These are good options because they will create a burst of color and life that you will enjoy seeing in your spring garden.
Pinder said that this time of year is also the perfect time to consider a full rejuvenation of your whole yard.
“It is coming up to the rainy season so it’s a good time to start landscaping your yard as well,”he said.”The fresh rain water helps the new plants and grass to catch properly and grow extremely well without too much effort from you.”
Pinder suggested that gardeners also plant in the summer time when there is lots of rain. Rain water, he said, is superior to ground water and will make the plants stronger and thrive much better.
“You have a lot of good chemicals and nutrients in the rain water that the plants need that they don’t get from the ground or city water. If you are watering with city water you are also fighting against chlorine and the other chemicals that are damaging the plant while its feeding. But if you have to use chlorinated water, it is best to let the water sit in a tank beforehand so that the chlorine can evaporate.”
If you are interested in backyard farming, this is still the season for planting tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Such crops are good for planting until end of March. After that time, Pinder recommended the planting of watermelon, okra, cucumber, squash.
The manager said that right now is also a great time to fertilize your garden. This is because coming out of the winter months, many of your plants that went dormant in order to survive are becoming active again and will need the extra boost to get them flourishing.
“You cannot avoid fertilizing because it will keep your garden healthy, blooming and greener. At the same time, if you see your plants struggling through the winter, the dormant season, and they are turning yellow, you may also need some iron for them. If you have palms, to keep them healthy you will need magnesium,”he said.
While planting your garden is all well and good, Pinder said maintaining it and keeping everything healthy and disease-free is also a big part of it. He said that to avoid bug infestations and common diseases in plants like palms you will need to spray them regularly.
To ensure that your yard stays well balanced and healthy, Pinder also recommended that you fertilize your garden at least three times a year.