Spring has sprung all over Sarasota and the Florida gulf coast. We’re blessed with an abundance of lush and beautiful plants that thrive in our sun-kissed area. Now is an especially good time to get your hands a little dirty as you breathe new life into your garden. It takes patience, the right tools, and the correct knowledge to successfully grow and manage your own little slice of Florida paradise.
In order to assist you in getting started on your own spring gardening projects, we at Germain Toyota Scion of Sarasota have put together this handy Spring Gardening Guide with helpful tips especially for our area.
- Soil preparation – Till and aerate your soil to from eight to 12 inches below the surface, removing rocks and debris. Avoid doing this when the soil is wet.
- Soil nourishment – Because the soil here in our area lacks proper nutrients, it’s important to fertilize correctly. Types of fertilizers include slow-release granular, controlled-release, and liquid fertilizer. Also coffee grounds, which are rich in nitrogen, make an excellent addition to your fertilizer.
- Banish weeds – Weeds can choke the life out of your garden. This is a labor-intensive chore that you can spread out over several days or weekends to make it less backbreaking.
- Use leftover cooking water – This not only saves water (always a good idea), but the nutrient-rich liquid from cooking vegetables will give your plants a boost.
- Use chamomile tea to kill plant infections– Stop bacterial and fungal infections by watering with chamomile tea. Stop seedlings from damping off by spraying your plants with it several times a week.
- Ground eggshells add needed calcium – Thoroughly grind up the shells and fold into the soil to prevent “blossom end rot.”
- Determine plant light requirements – From full sun to full shade, different plants have different sunlight tolerance levels. Instead of a hit-or-miss approach, consult your nursery or online guides which list these requirements.
- Plant properly – Dig a hole one and half times as wide and deep as the pot your plant came in. Gently remove the plant and loosen the roots. Grasp the plant from the top and support the root ball from below. It should sit even with or a little higher than the soil level. Remove the plant and fill the hole with water. Set the plant in the hole and backfill the hole with dirt. Tamp firmly in place and water slowly again, removing air pockets. Keep mulch at least six inches from the plant’s base.
- Know the difference between trimming and hard pruning – Plant trimming refers to trimming and shaping the plant, which can be done any time of year. Hard pruning means cutting the plant back up to a third or a half and should only be done during warm months. Snowbird tip: Give your plants a hard pruning before you leave for the summer.
- Water correctly – Check local watering restrictions. Even native “Florida Friendly” plants require regular watering; just less often. Our dry months run from April to May and also in October. Also, our sandy soil doesn’t retain water well. In fact, it can act as a moisture barrier. Infrequent or haphazard watering schedules can stress or damage a plant. Consistency is the key.
Cultivate a Great Deal on a New Toyota at Germain Toyota of Sarasota
Spring savings are blossoming all over our new, state-of-the art showroom at Germain Toyota Scion of Sarasota. Now is the perfect time to cultivate an exceptional deal on our huge inventory of new 2015 Toyotas and Scions. Enjoy “springtacular” dealer discounts, special financing offers, and money-saving Toyota incentives. Visit our beautiful new Toyota Scion dealership today at 7435 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231. For sales, call 855-826-1499, and for service, call 888-826-1497.