Nurseries plan for spring, early Easter |

Nurseries plan for spring, early Easter

Petunia flowers being grown and nutured in a greehouse
Photographer:Brian Brown |

Despite the mid-March snowstorm last week, gardeners should be thinking ahead to spring planting season.

“The end of March is the beginning of the planting season for northern Colorado,” said Ken Olsen, owner of Eaton Grove Nursery in Eaton, Colo.

Olsen said backyard gardeners should be cleaning out the garden beds, laying down pre-emergent fertilizer and generally getting ready to plant.

People should be cleaning up the plants from last fall if they haven’t done so already.

“Perennials need to be trimmed down to the ground. Rose bushes can be trimmed back to about a 6-inch height,” he said.

Porch gardeners also have some work to do.

“For gardening in pots and containers, raised bed and gardens themselves, right now is a good time to amend that soil with compost, phosphorous fertilizer and calcium nitrate added in there,” Olsen said.

He said those nutrients are essential for gardens to help fend off diseases that occur in gardens.

If anyone is unsure of what their garden or yard will need, Olsen said to stop in to chat about it.

“We are professionals in this industry and we like to make sure people have the right information for dealing with out climate and dealing with the different soils that we have,” he said.

And they’ve already started planting in the greenhouses at Eaton Grove and getting ready to bring plants out for the spring rush.

“The nursery is filling up. It seems like on a daily basis more stock and plant material shows up,” Olsen said. “And we’re planting in the greenhouses, which are 80 percent full now — and we’re still planning for another month and a half.”

Eddie Maxwell, owner of Happy Life Gardens in Evans, Colo., said they’ve been getting ready for spring, too.

“A lot of what we have are just those nice spring annuals,” he said. “Pansies, primrose and violas — things that like the cold weather.”

He said they don’t do a lot of the traditional Easter lilies, but they do plant spring bulbs like daffodils and tulips.

“We find that those types of things are nice early spring flowers because they can survive the cool temperatures and they’re nice and pretty,” Maxwell said.

He said over the next few weeks they will do a lot of planting and bring a lot of trees and flowers out of the greenhouses.

“Bring it out too soon and it gets snowed on and that’s no good for that type of plant,” he said.

The early Easter date has made Maxwell nervous about potential losses in sales.

“Easter’s coming early, Mothers Day is going to be early,” he said. “In this part of the country, moving things up a week or two can have a big effect on (sales) because the weather is so finicky.”

Olsen said it actually helps him out a little because it splits two of the biggest spring flower holidays, allowing them more time to grow in between.

But still, Maxwell said he’s excited for the beginning of the season.

“Just in general, Easter kind of reminds us all of new life and that’s where we’re at. Everything’s just starting out,” he said. “It’s the beginning of the season so it’s fitting.”

Stacy Carlson agreed that it’s exciting to be at the beginning of the season, though the beginning this year is the end for Tanglewood Nursery in Eaton.

The nursery will be moving as soon as they can find a smaller farm, but they’re still selling the last of their trees this year.

“Spring is always the busiest time of the year,” Carlson said. “Basically you harvest your trees when they’re growing right before they pop open and get them out to the public.

They are harvesting the last of their trees this spring, which are mostly Colorado blue spruce and Austrian pine.

“We used to do all kinds of trees, but we sold the farm and now are down to pines and spruces,” he said.

“It’s that time of year,” he said. “Spring is in the air.”❖

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