I’ve been writing this column for several years. I’m guessing eight or nine. My readers often read about my personal gardening thoughts and experiences. A comment I often hear is, “I’m not really a gardener, but I enjoy reading your stories.”
I do value new ideas and thinking in my life, and have wondered how I might present a broader gardening perspective than my own.
My goal is always to help gardeners feel more successful in their gardening. One resource I have mentioned several times is the non-profit website, GoodGardeningVideos.org. I will be leaning on this content in a more specific manner today, and perhaps occasionally in the future.
May and June are popular times for planting annuals and perennials. Late summer, including late August and early September, also work well. Many gardeners prefer to do their gardening in spring, when garden centers have their best selection and our spring enthusiasm is running high.
Planting annuals and perennials are similar, though many annuals are smaller, and will require more consistent watering. Both require some homework to make sure the plant is appropriate for the site.
Some videos mention soil amendments, but current research focuses on choosing plants that will grow well in your existing soil.
Adding enriched soil encourages roots to remain in the planting hole instead of spreading out, leading to longer-term decline. It’s important that plant roots be surrounded with crumbly soil, which they can penetrate easily Never use your foot to pack down the soil. Watering well will make sure the soil settles around the roots. Surround the plant with mulch to preserve moisture.
The three videos I watched, by Kristen Schlieter, Lucy Summers, and Tagawa Gardens, all illustrated this process well. To locate these videos, I scrolled down the Home Screen until I saw “How-to Videos for Spring,, then a collage photo labeled “Best videos on planting trees, shrubs and Perennials.” Other current seasonal categories include Pruning, Enlightened Lawn Care, Creating a Vegetable Garden, and Five Great Vegetable-Growing Channels on You Tube.
In the spring videos section, I enjoyed the information on “Enlightened Lawn Care in the Spring.” Instead of promoting four-step products for perfect grass lawns, simpler practices are encouraged including fertilization only around Labor Day; fertilize by leaving chopped clippings on the lawn; and mix grass seed with potting soil or compost when applying, for improved water retention and germination.
I like their comment, “The best lawn care for the environment is NOT doing nothing. Bare soil causes erosion, lawns that are thick and healthy provide the most eco-services, like retaining stormwater.”
This site also includes videos on more traditional lawn care practices, under “Lawn Care.”
All of the videos on this site have been carefully selected for accurate and concise content. It’s possible that readers may find information on additional topics that will make their gardening efforts more successful.
Julie Brocklehurst-Woods has been a Master Gardener Volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Livingston County since 2002. She enjoys helping all gardeners become successful gardeners, especially helping people identify tools and strategies to prioritize and simplify their gardening tasks. She will answer gardening questions by email: JulieBW48@gmail.com.