The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Health & Family

May 2, 2013

Mother's Day a perfect chance to grow flowers instead of gifting them

JOPLIN, Mo. — Giving flowers on Mother's Day is one thing. But spending the day planting flowers is another. With Mother's Day just around the corner and temperatures leveling out after a recent cold spell, the day may be the perfect time to give back to both Mother and Mother Nature.

Planting trees, shrubs or flowers can be a great way to improve the aesthetic of a home while benefitting the natural environment.

Despite the fact that summer is swiftly approaching, Curt Carr, owner of Joplin Greenhouse, said that there is still plenty of time to establish a botanical bounty.

"At this time of year, trees and shrubs would be good," Carr said. "For summer, annual color, perennials. Of course garden vegetables, tomatoes and peppers."

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, planting with a diversity of trees, shrubs, perennials and other Missouri native plants provides food and shelter for insects, birds, mammals and amphibians. Planting a garden for Mother's Day can beautify a home while providing the opportunity to observe nature.

"Definitely watch the weather and the outlook," Carr said. "Make sure that temperatures are going to be above freezing and know that it's going to consistently stay warm. Most of the time when people are buying (plants) they come from a greenhouse, a warm atmosphere."

The Missouri Department of Conservation's website contains a wealth of resources for landscaping and establishing a garden containing native plants. A few tips for green-horned green-thumbs include:

  • ¥ Remove existing grasses and weeds from the soil using organic methods or non-selective herbicides such as glyphosate.
  • ¥ Establish a 2-inch layer of organic mulch over a weed-free bed when planting.
  • ¥ After digging the soil in your planting area, wait a few weeks for left over weed seeds to germinate before stirring the top inch of soil and cutting any remaining weeds down.
  • ¥ Do not use fertilizer on native plants and grasses.
  • ¥ Water plants after they are installed and apply a pre-emergent herbicide.

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