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Planning Ahead For Spring

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Gardeners don't have to go dormant in the winter. KUNC Gardener Tom Throgmorton says there's plenty to do this season when it comes to planning for spring.

It’s been cold. And there’s still a lot of winter weather to come. But I’ve been giving myself spring fever by reading the new seed catalogs and looking at garden center workshop schedules.

I put together a seed order. But I need to revise it. I think five varieties of tomatoes may be a little too much. It’s easy to get carried away with all of the exciting descriptions.  Garden centers are putting up their seed racks. They have their seed starting supplies out, too.    

Most catalogs give some cultural or growing information. Some catalogs are general. They may say `don’t let plants wilt’; `transplant in five weeks’; or `sow one seed per cell’. Other catalogs are detailed with seed sowing depth, light requirement, germination temperature and specific treatments. The detailed information helps with seed sowing and garden space planning. 

Or go to a garden center and talk new varieties with the staff. They may have firsthand experience with some of the new plants. That saves a lot on the learning curve. Garden centers also have localized handouts to schedule seed sowing and garden planting. 

Local garden centers and botanic gardens are offering a bushel of workshops.  You can find classes about fairy gardens. Learn all you need to know about vegetable gardens. Learn what fruit plants grow best in your neighborhood.  Check out a class on growing patio pots. Workshops fill up fast so pre-register.

Credit Perosha / Flickr Commons
Flickr Commons

If you have a new landscape or want a change attend a design workshop. Using photos and rough sketches, designers teach general guides to an artful design.  Design classes are a way to learn how to use plants. 

If you’re not a do-it-yourself person, winter is a great time to contact a landscape designer. A designer can get the plans laid out to start the process for a new landscape. Planning this winter will help you create some new outdoor rooms in your landscape.

Don’t go dormant this winter. Start some seeds for summer flowers and vegetables. Contact your local garden center or botanic garden for class lists. Keep growing this winter so your garden grows next season.


Tom has been offering garden advice on KUNC for almost two decades. During that time he has been the wholesale sales manager at Ft. Collins Nursery, Inc. Since January of 2005 he has been the owner and operator of Throgmorton Plant Management, LLC., a landscape installation and maintenance company as well as a horticultural consulting firm. He lives in northern Ft. Collins with his wife and two kids.
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