Bring ‘Em Out, Bring ‘Em Out!

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It’s our favorite time of year again, my friends: Springtime! With spring cleaning comes planting, repotting and bringing those plants that have been inside all winter long back out into the yard or patio. I, unfortunately, do not have a yard at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a patio full of plants all spring and summer long.

Since I have a “problem” staying out of the garden section or quite honestly any nursery in general, I collect plants and seeds all year. When it is time to move my plants outside, I tend to make it a habit to use the opportunity to propagate and repot as well! Almost any variety of cacti or succulent can live both indoors and out without any harm while also getting more sunlight and go longer periods without water. You may even notice how they thrive in those types of arid environments. But, if you are moving any ivy or other low-light plant to your yard or patio, just be sure that they keep the same style of lighting, preferably a spot that stays shady but will get some morning light that isn’t too strong, so you don’t shock the plant. We do want to continue to keep these types of plants well-watered. Just remember to monitor all plants after any changes like this because you may have to adjust their spots around the yard to help them settle in for the season. 

When it comes to repotting, make sure you always get a soil that is meant for your specific type of plant. We wouldn’t want to put a drier type of soil in a pot meant for a plant that needs constant moisture, etc. If you are someone that is more experienced in this area, then you are probably mixing your own soils and have a better idea of how much of each soil type to use to give your plant the best environment. I usually recommend to also apply a nice fertilizer to your plants at this time! When repotting please do your plants a favor and get pots with drainage holes! I suggest not going from too small to too big, because while your plant may need more room, you don’t want it to rot because of how much more water these new pots will hold in the soil. 

Speaking of avoiding rot, another huge tip I have is: when adding any sort of trellis or moss poles for those larger size plants, don’t use wood unless absolutely necessary! Especially if the plant is going to have any chance of repeatedly getting soaked in springtime rain. You can find steel or plastic trellis that will save you the trouble of dealing with any rot. (If you’re crafty, you can even use plant-safe paint to decorate them!) PVC pipes for moss poles is another great option and will be hidden by the moss and can usually be stacked as the plant grows. I have also seen people make their own moss poles by stuffing their moss into plastic mesh and connecting it all with zip ties. Just be sure to always pre-soak your moss before constructing for sturdiness and to also encourage the plant to climb upwards by drinking up that water. 

Once you’ve done all the dirty work, now you can sit back, and enjoy a glass of your favorite wine or tea out in the yard or patio with all those happy plants.

As always, happy planting!

Sarah Catron is a long-time gardener and also serves at Clancy’s Irish Pub here in Wheat Ridge.

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