A beautiful garden lasts year-round – whether it is showing off blooms, foliage or berries there is always something peeking out to draw the eye in. In this blog, we are going to look at the typical 4 seasons that we have in Pennsylvania and breakdown what you should be planting accordingly. With all of the free time due to COVID-19, at least we can plan our dream garden!
Before the ground becomes too hard or waterlogged, you will want to brave the cool weather and plant roses and any other dormant shrubs (Winter Gem Boxwood, Red Twig Dogwood, etc). Planting during the colder months will provide you with plenty of colors during the warmer months.
During the splendor of snow, berried hollies, hellebores, and evergreen peak through bare stems illuminating the contrast of the bleak and the bright. But just because there is frost on the ground doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepping. Winter months are a great time to sow seed on a windowsill or if you are lucky enough a heated greenhouse.
Most people assume this is the best time to plant and it is for bulbs that bloom in summer such as dahlias and lilies. If you have the itch to plant, you will want to place any not frost-hardy bulbs (dahlias, cannas, begonias) in pots indoors and wait to move to the outside after the danger of frost has passed. Keep indoor planted bulbs in a sunny spot to ensure full growth.
Spring is the time to enjoy the bulbs you planted in the autumn, whether it be masses of bright yellow daffodils, heavily scented hyacinths, brightly colored tulips or lollypop alliums.
It is also the time to plant colorful primulas, heathers and hybrid primroses to perk up your patio pots. It’s also a perfect time for planting perennials including lupins, delphiniums, foxgloves, and peonies, keep them well watered and wait for the summer color to arrive.
Summer is the most colorful time in the garden, either grown from seed or available in your local greenhouse – planted in your containers, troughs and anything else your brain comes up with.
As soon as all risk of frost has passed- lobelia, petunias, verbena, fuchsias, and begonias can go outside. If you have cover, you can give them a head start by planting in pots in spring, but only if you have somewhere to protect them.
Summer perennials should be coming into flower – lupins, delphiniums, roses, and climbers including large-flowered clematis are in their element and lavender flowers are producing their heady scent.
Lilies should be bursting open in mid-summer, while border phlox will only start flowering when summer is well underway.
July and August are not ideal planting times if you don’t want to be a slave to the watering can. In the hottest months keep your focus on deadheading, watering, and feeding plants thT are already established.
If you want bunches of daffodils, crocus, alliums, and snowdrops, fall is the best time to plant spring-flowering bulbs.
Crocus can be planted at any point until early December, tulips should be left until late fall, while snowdrops and other small bulbs are best planted immediately after purchase. PRO tip: plant bulbs at three times their depth below the surface of the soil or compost.
Fall is also a time when brilliant leaf colors begin to show. It’s not hard to find appreciation for the end of summer while gazing up at a tree adorned with colorful leaves. Berries also appear in shades of orange, yellow, red and black.
Fall is also a great time for planting container-grown trees, shrubs, climbers and roses, while the ground is still warm and workable, while in late fall you can begin to plant bare-root plants, provided the leaves have fallen off and the plants are dormant.