In GoThiSway

Because the weather calls for it, we asked Megan Hunt, of Gulley’s Garden Center, for some ways to beautify your bunker — and make you feel more at home and less like you’re under house arrest. Here is what she told us we should be doing right now.

A snowball viburnum, planted at Gulley’s by Pete Gulley over 25 years ago.

1. Prepare Your Soil.

Now is the time to enrich your planting material with new compost and topsoil. If you have a container garden, remove a third of the old soil and refresh with new. If you really want to know what you’re working with, the ag center in Carthage does soil testing — but if you’re local, it’s likely that your dirt is acidic.

2. Put the Lime on the Lawn, You Nut — and the Trees and Shrubs.

Remember that acidic soil we were just talking about? Lime is a cheap remedy that you can do every six months to help bring the PH of your soil back to normal. Your lawn will love this, too.

3. Watch the Weather.

We shouldn’t have another frost, but anything can happen. If the temperature drops close to freezing you’ll want to cover little annuals or freshly planted seedlings with a bag or a sheet.

4. Prevent Weeds Before They Start.

Don’t wait for those dandelions to sprout, flower and go to seed —put weed killer on before you see them. If you want to minimize any potential impacts on the environment, put them out just before it rains.

5. Pick Out Your Annuals and Perennials.

Gulley’s has tons in stock, but if you wait, the color and size you’re looking for might be picked over.

6. Begin Measures to Keep Animals at Bay.

Don’t wait until the deer eat everything you’ve just planted to put out repellant — do it now. Oh, and talk to Gulley’s about an organic product that will stop moles and voles before they start tunneling through your yard.

Bonus: Here’s a list of foolproof plants that almost any old brown thumb can grow.

  • Geraniums: These full-sun annuals will give you lots of color — and lots of forgiveness on your lack of maintenance.
  • Lantana: These sun-loving, drought resistant beauts grow tons of bright flowers, and they come in annual and perennial versions.
  • Impatients are the perfect pic for a shady spot.
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