Monday, June 26th, 2017

A.J. Petitti shares helpful gardening tips for spring planting s

a-j-petitti

A.J. Petitti shares helpful gardening tips for spring planting season

By KATHRYN RIDDLE

 Gardening and outdoor living, so eagerly anticipated after a long, hard winter, were the focus at the April Ohio Design Centre”s First Friday series program featuring A.J. Petitti of his family-owned Garden Centers.
 A.J. began his informal talk, entitled "New Trends in the Garden for 2013," literally from the ground up, stressing the importance of early lawn care and the feeding of perennials, shrubbery, deciduous trees and evergreens. Recommended food sources for optimum health are Espoma”s Holly-Tone for rhododendrons, azaleas and hydrangeas that prefer acidic soil, and Plant-Tone for forsythia, lilacs and weigela that prefer alkaline soil. To green-up plants, trees and the lawn, A.J. suggested applying Ironite because it can be used on all soil types, is a slow-release fertilizer and will not burn.
 "It all starts with the soil," said A.J., "for both your flower or vegetable gardens. You need to amend the soil to keep it arable. Add organic materials to the soil and leave enough space between plants [flowers or vegetables] to allow them to mature. Use a preventive such as Preen on flower beds so it will discourage weeds."
 New varieties of perennials, such as nearly fool-proof KnockOut Roses, and annuals such as SunPatiens, a hybrid of New Guinea and wild impatiens, that likes sun but can tolerate some shade, will add great color to the garden. Also new is a bush peony called Itoh that has characteristics of the tree peony, and is available in yellow and pink varieties.
 A.J. also talked about the new BrazelBerries that thrive in containers, and while not hardy to this climate, either blueberry or raspberry varieties will supply abundant fruit all summer long.
 "We have Goji berries this year, too," said A.J. "They are perennials in this area and will grow five to 10 feet high with a five-foot spread. They are loaded with antioxidants, too."
 Since many plants and vegetables need staking, use new colorful spirals, cages or trellises as supports as well as to add dimension to your gardens. Children will love them, too, and, said A.J., "introducing gardening to them while they are young can become a lifetime pleasure for them. Children especially like growing vegetables."
 Enjoy the "fruits of your labor" by investing in new furniture, so elegantly designed and in weather-resistant materials and fabrics, that the pieces can be used indoors or out. ”Tis the season — finally! — to stop and smell the roses newly planted in your garden!
   
  

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