East Texas gardeners ready for spring

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For those who want to get to work on their yards and gardens spring can't get here soon enough.

"Everybody's ready.  We're probably about two weeks behind when folks would normally start to want to do things.  The weather has just stayed cold and wet and rainy and folks are ready," said Stephen Corley, Owner Lufkin Farm Supply & Nursery.

Getting antsy to start planting?  Keep in mind, cold temps could still be around for a while.

"We try to go - you're not a hundred percent until Easter almost always going to get frost through March and sometimes into April.  You have to go by you can't plant more than you can cover," said Beverly Massingill, Nursery Manager.

However, yards and flower beds can get whipped into shape now.

"Right now it's mainly applying weed and feed in the yard.  That prevents summertime weeds from coming up as ground warms up, generally the first thing that pops up going to be weeds," said Corley.

A tip to get your East Texas soil in great shape before planting anything this spring putting out some lime.

"Helps condition soil a little better.  We have a lot acidity with all the pine trees.  And it helps utilize the nutrients a little better," said Corley.

After the soil's ready it's the perfect time to plant shrubs.

"Right now is an excellent time.  We're still cool.  Most stuff is still kind of dormant so it has a chance to get established a good little root system, before it gets hot and dry in the summer," said Corley.

The Azalea shrubs are very popular in this area.  Get them in the yard now so their beautiful pink flowers will be decorating your yard in no time.

And if you're worried about the shrubs you planted last year making it - don't be.

"A lot of shrubbery probably took a beating with the a lot of cold weather had there.  Just not used to it so it may take a little longer to come back.  But most things in our area should bounce back," said Corley.

Gardeners may have to wait on planting peppers and tomatoes - but there are some things they can get to work on.

"We need to get our fruit trees in the ground.  Any of the berries: blackberries and blueberries need to be out," Massingill said.

As the weather warms up and dries out - now's the time to start the preparations for a great season of spring planting.

"We just need to get in the garden and turn it over.  Help it dry out.  Get your fertilizer worked in.  So when we're able to plant, you'll be ready to go.  You can just roll it up and plant," Massingill said.

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