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Video: Planting planting pansies in containers

Written by Doug Oster on .

Blog big pansy wat 414

Here's a segment from Pittsburgh Today Live where I plant pansies in containers with Jon Burnett and Kristine Sorensen. Watch it, we have fun!

"Pansies look delicate but are rugged, just like you Jon."

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=10014428

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Plant pansies and violas for instant color (and happiness too)

Written by Doug Oster on .

Blog big pansy wat 414The vibrant colors of pansies are the perfect cure for the winter blues. Photos by Doug Oster

Pansies and violas offer an unending myriad of colors. They love cool weather, can be planted in containers or right in the garden. They bring happiness with every blossom.

Both plants are easy to grow. Be sure they get plenty of water and some liquid organic fertilizer every other week to keep them growing strong.

In my garden I fill as many containers as I can, mixing the pansies and violas at will. The front of the house is a rainbow of colors to great visitors. Many have a subtle, but wonderful fragrance too.

Since the flowers can take anything Mother Nature has left in her, they are the perfect choice to plant now.

I'm a cheap gardener (as you know) and I prefer to buy the plants in flats, it's the best bang for the buck. I did have to buy some of the 'Hip Hop' violas at Chapon's Greenhouse. They are sold in plastic pots and are pricey in comparison to buying a flat, but I love them, so I purchased four of them.

Get some pansies in the garden and soak in the beauty, it's guaranteed to make you smile.

blog hort viola 414Mixing violas like these with pansies makes a great combination.

blog pansy 040114In the foreground are 'Hip Hop' violas from Chapon's Greenhouse, I love them.

Blog vert viola 414'Hip Hop' violas have an interesting flower shape.

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Some like it cool, veggies to plant now

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog arugulab 0331This arugula is so hardy, it lived over the winter. It will thrive in spring weather. Photos by Doug Oster

In the '70's my mother would march us out to the garden on Memorial Day to get the garden weeded, turned over and planted. On Labor Day everything came out.

Today, I garden differently. Peas, arugula, lettuce, beets, carrots, spinach, radishes and more can be planted right now. They love cool weather.

In fact, the arugula above survived the winter. If a plant can take 10 below, it will thrive in spring temperatures.

The trick is to make sure the garden soil is ready to be turned. If it sticks to the shovel, it's too wet. In that case, just buy a bag of compost at a garden center and spread it over the bed. Seeds can be planted directly in the compost.

Peas are traditionally planted on St. Patrick's Day, mine went in even earlier, March 11. That day it was 64 degrees. I soak mine for 24 hours before planting to improve germination. I knew it would get really cold again, so I covered the small bed with a plastic skylight. A sheet of clear plastic would work too. That might help them sprout now too.

The peas are a couple inches tall already and should be able to be picked in late April or early May depending on the weather.

blog peas 0331Starting early also lets you brag! I'm telling everyone who will listen my peas are already a couple inches high!

It's not just seeds which can be planted now either. I used the same compost technique on March 11th to put in small transplants of lettuce, arugula, spinach and cilantro. The next day it dipped to eight degrees. By protecting plants with skylights, plastic and floating row covers, they all survived and now are taking off. A floating row cover is a spun bound translucent fabric available at nurseries which acts as a greenhouse in the garden. It's so light, the plants themselves can hold the fabric up. It's cheap and reusable, one of the best tools for the spring garden.

Nurseries carry seeds and plants this time of the year. It's fun to see what each one has to offer.

Get something in the vegetable garden now, you'll be harvesting before many gardeners even start planting.

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Free rose pruning/care seminar with the experts from the Pittsburgh Rose Society

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog roses societyThese roses were blooming in England outside the Tower of London. Photo by Doug Oster

There's no one better to teach you about caring for roses than the rosarians from the Pittsburgh Rose Society. The rose garden at Renziehausen Park is one of the finest collections of roses in the country.

The Pittsburgh Rose Society will be holding its spring pruning demonstration at the Renziehausen Park Arboretum in McKeesport on Saturday, April 4th and 12th at 1 P.M.  Rosarians will be in the garden to conduct hands-on pruning demonstrations as well as answer questions about planting, fertilizing, and pest control.  You must bring your own pruning tools, gloves, and knee pads to learn and participate.  The event will go on rain or shine.  This demonstration is free and open  to the public.  For more information visit www.pghrosesociety.org.

Here's a video I did about this amazing garden.


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Doug is keynote speaker in Venango County Saturday morning

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog corydalis luteaCorydalis lutea so one of the plants I'll talk about Saturday at the Venango County Garden Collage. It's the ultimate "low maintenance" plant.Photo by Doug Oster

I'm excited to be the keynote speaker Saturday 3/29/14 at 9am in Franklin, Pa up in Venango County.

I'll be talking about "The Low Maintenance Garden." I've got lots of tips and tricks too keep the work to a minimum. Right after that I'll lead a break out session and talk about three of my favorite things, "Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil."

The Venango County Garden Collage runs from 9amto 4pm and is filled with great garden speakers and vendors.

Here are all the details.

 

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