Gardening With Laurie: Welcome spring in the garden

March 10, 2011 at midnight
Updated March 9, 2011 at 9:10 p.m.

Laurie Garretson

Laurie Garretson

By Laurie Garretson

Every year at this time, I so much enjoy the company of other gardeners.

Not that I don't like being with other gardeners the rest of the year, but spring is different. Especially after this past winter.

There's just something about this season that invigorates us.

Non-gardeners just don't get it. They think all the raking, weeding, digging and planting is work. But we know better.

We have discovered the benefits of gardening. We know how therapeutic it is to spend time in our gardens.

Working in the soil and helping beautiful plants and delicious vegetables grow is what helps us make sense of this chaotic world we live in. Gardening is how we relieve stress. We call gardening relaxation.

After the cold winter, many of us discovered that many of our existing plants where not happy. Many gardeners report losing some plants along with many plants that just froze back or just don't look good.

If you're not sure what to do about a certain plant, get some advise from another gardener who's better able to guide you. So, many times, well-meaning gardeners pull up plants that they believe to be dead, when that isn't the case.

Already, I'm seeing lots of new growth sprouting out on many types of plants all around the area.

This is a great time to evaluate plans for this year's gardening. Whenever possible, think about planting native and adapted plants in your landscape. These plants will be better able to thrive in our area. They will require less maintenance and less water once established.

My advice to someone planting their first vegetable garden is to think small. It's so easy to get excited about all the different types of things you could grow. Many new gardeners make the mistake of planting big gardens and soon get discouraged by all the work it requires.

You will find that down sizing a garden can still provide you with all the vegetables you can handle. Plus, you will have less maintenance to tend to and will enjoy the garden a lot more.

No matter what type of soil you have in your landscape, it would benefit from the addition of a lot of good compost. Flowerbeds, lawns, vegetable gardens, orchards and vineyards all need the benefits of compost.

I was excited to see our Martin scouts had arrived a couple of weeks ago. These birds are such an enjoyment to have around. Every year, I anticipate their arrival.

All gardeners should incorporate wildlife habitats into their landscapes. Large or small areas can attract many forms of wildlife. Many of our native plants will bring in lots of butterflies and hummers. Having diversity in your landscape, as nature does, will help to bring you all kinds of wildlife.

The diversity of a landscape can determine the success and beauty of it.

Until next time, let's try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.



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