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Planting advice given

March 15, 2001

Planting advice given



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

It may be too early for most planting but it's not too soon to plan flower and vegetable gardens, according to area nurseries.

"Planning and thinking ahead pays dividends," said Chris Snavely of Snavely's Garden Corner, which has locations in Hagerstown and Chambersburg, Pa.

Snavely said a variety of plants, trees, vegetables and statuary are starting to arrive at area nurseries.

"You're only limited by your space, budget and imagination," he said.

Ponds, with or without fish, are increasing in popularity among flower gardeners, said Jamie Doyle, assistant grower at Mountainside Gardens in Boonsboro.

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Doyle said sales have been brisk since Mountainside Gardens started selling ponds two years ago.

Doyle attributes their popularity to the ease of installation and variety of sizes available.

Traditionally, gardeners break out the spades and trowels after Mother's Day when spring temperatures remain above freezing overnight, said Snavely.

"The signal is when the ground is workable," he said.

Snavely recommends people have their soil tested to ensure proper nutrient levels for a successful growing season.

Landscapers at Lovell's Nursery in Hagerstown have started planting some shrubs but said the current weather is still too uncertain for flowers.

Those with an itch to play in the dirt can start planting seeds indoors, said Elsie Rodriguez, greenhouse manager.

Snavely said those who like to start vegetable gardens early can safely plant onions and potatoes around St. Patrick's Day.

For those who haven't already planted tulip or daffodil bulbs, Snavely said it's best to wait until next fall. Flowering bulbs such as dahlias, gladiolas and lilies can be planted in late April for a summer bloom, he said.

Those wanting to get in some early planting should consider the type of plant and its stage of growth to determine if it will survive spring temperatures, he said.

Gardeners who use established plants should put them into the ground as soon as possible once the season starts, said Doyle.

The flowers will require a light feeding every couple of weeks, he said.

"But not too much. It's better to have none at all then too much," said Doyle.

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