Crystal Valley Blog

Don’t Wait To Start Your Garden!

POSTED March 26, 2019

Don’t wait till it’s too late to start your spring gardening! There are plenty of things you can do between now and the last frost date — which for Aurora is May 7, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. From starting your own plants in seed pots or cells on top of your refrigerator (yes, your refrigerator), to bedding some plants and veggies that thrive in cool weather. If you’ve been waiting all winter to get your hands dirty – it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get busy!

First, you can begin seeding plants and vegetables indoors. The beginning of spring is the right time to gather your tools and supplies and get your garden off to an early start. And while starting plants from seeds seems like a task for veteran gardeners, it’s surprisingly easy.

Better Homes and Gardens’ how-to video guide with Steven Orr starts with either fiber pots from seed kits or ordinary cardboard egg cartons. It’s really rewarding to take a speck of a seed and watch the seedling grow until you can plant it outdoors. 

Seeds to Seedlings to Plants!

You can get seeds from U.S. companies or a local home improvement store like Lowe’s. Orr recommends bio degradable pots that can be planted right in the garden. One of the secrets he recommends is getting seed starter mix rather than dirt from your backyard – which might have fungus that can harm your seedlings. Some of the flowers that are good all-time favorites to start indoors are marigolds, cosmos, morning glories, nasturtiums and sunflowers – especially good for kids. 

A good place to do it is the kitchen putting your pots on top of the refrigerator where it’s a little warmer. After you see seedlings emerging, you’ll want to relocate them to good light from a window, or if you put your carton in the basement, to a grow light. Orr says to look at the back of the seed packets and work backwards from the last frost date. 

Blooming Spring Flowers

Ever noticed a surge of pansies in the springtime, even before colorful crocuses or tulips pierce the soil to find sunlight? Pretty pansies fill landscapes and windowsills all over Castle Rock because these popular flowers thrive in cool weather. That means spring is also the perfect planting time!

There are also spring vegetable plants that like cool weather and cycle through to harvest before the heat of summer. Smart Pots says these five early spring veggies are ones you can plant now: snow peas, lettuce, kale, broccoli and radishes. With tips for how to sow and grow, Smart Pots walks you through them all.

Better Now Than Summer!

If there are any parts of your garden or landscaping that feel bare, consider ordering perennials, trees, and shrubs for spring planting, now. People don’t realize that nurseries are happy to special-order varieties you’re interested in — that they might not otherwise have in stock.

Though it can seem intimidating, bare-root plants are usually less expensive than those in containers, establish quickly and come in a large selection. (Bare-root means plants that come to you dormant, often wrapped in breathable plastic). Take full advantage of the best planting time for plants, including fruit trees, roses, hostas, and daylilies — on a cool, cloudy day, whenever possible.

Speaking of hostas, if you didn’t tackle dividing your plants during the fall (like irises and other perennials) do that now and give yourself (or someone you love) free plants! While you’re at it, thin the foliage on any ornamental grasses and pull up plant detritus and skeletons.

Martha Says Mulch It

Martha Stewart says that the single easiest thing you can do – practically and aesthetically — is to give your garden and landscaping a fresh layer of mulch. A several-inch-thick layer of your favorite mulch, like wood chips or straw, gives everything a clean, attractive look, while retaining moisture and helping to discourage weeds.

One of the awesome things about a garden, especially a vegetable or an herb garden, is that it gives back. That’s a great teaching moment for kids, and any of us who like to see the progression of plant life from seed to harvest. The DIY Network offers up ways to help kids embrace their inner gardener with ideas for kid-friendly gardens.

Get Your Garden on in Crystal Valley

One of the best things about moving into a brand new home in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley, is being surrounded by nature, inviting a bit of it into your own front and backyards! Explore all the beautiful models and move-in ready homes from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes and D.R. Horton – ranch and two-story designs, priced from the $300s. You’ll find the nearby amenities plus nearby shopping, entertainment and recreation, just about everything you need.

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Our community enjoys a year-round schedule of events and activities. Register to receive the latest progress and news of upcoming events at Crystal Valley.