Garden guru offers spring planting tips

By: Laura Newell, Of the Telegraph
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FOLSOM, CA - With warmer weather shining on patios and yards, some gardeners are looking to create colorful landscapes fitting for their individual space.

Whether you have a small apartment patio space or few acres of yard surrounding a house, master gardeners at Green Acres Nursery and Supply in Folsom can help people create a colorful garden.

Store manager Steve Linton has worked in the landscape industry for more than 30 years.

“This is something that I have been interested in for my entire life,” Linton said. “From a young age, I’ve been planting and landscaping around my house.”

Linton said container gardening can bring color to a deck or patio. But it’s important to check the sun exposure in the area before planting, he said.

“I like to have colored foliage in container gardening. I love to use different colors and mix them together,” he said. “That way the containers stay filled with colorful shrubs even after the annual blooms are gone.”

Linton said when planting in pots or other containers, generally plants should not exceed 3-4 feet high.

For morning sun and afternoon shade, Linton suggests planting gardenia plants with smaller colorful foliage around the larger plant. He said this will create a colorful, full look in the container or surrounding containers. He said before planting, it is important to make sure the container is large enough for the chosen plants and has adequate draining.

“I like plants that drape over the pot,” he said. “I just like the look of it. It adds something special to the landscape.”

For full sun, Linton suggests planting small patio trees or rose bushes.

“When planting roses, it’s important to remember to prune and maintain the plant. You will need to deadhead the roses, or trim the dead flowers,” Linton said. “I also like vines for full-sun patios. Pink jasmine gives off a lovely fragrance.”

For nature lovers, there are a variety of flowers that will help attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

“Salvia or sage is a good hummingbird attractant,” Linton said. “Since May is butterfly season, you can also plant the butterfly bush in any yard. The bush is great for a backyard backdrop when landscaping. The bush will crash in the winter, but return the next year for the season.”

For people looking to just add a little seasonal color, Linton said annuals such as impatiens, petunias and marigolds are colorful annual flowers that can brighten up a landscape.

He said watering and maintaining landscapes is also a major factor for gardeners.

“Watering is dependant on whether the plant is in a pot or in the ground,” Linton said. “Make sure to look at the soil makeup before watering. Container soils can be different from ground soils. Also (water) test your containers before planting to make sure it drains within a couple of hours.”

Linton said the best advice he can give any gardener is to come to the nursery with photos of the patio or yard and ask questions.

“This is the best time to plant for the season. The rain is just about done and the heat is not too overpowering yet,” Linton said. “Bring in your questions and plant samples for us to help you maintain and brighten up your garden. We have thousands of options here and tons of color.”

For more information, contact Green Acres in Folsom at (916) 358-9099 or