KUSA - Gardeners are itching to do something--or anything. If you really must get your green thumb back in form, plant some pansies.
If you're the conservative type, start some from seed. There are new seed-starting kits with built-in grow lights that make seed starting easier. Pansies are one of the few plants that can be started this early, since they can be safely planted outside around Saint Patrick's Day. Your seedlings may be reach transplanting size by April.
The bold gardener might go ahead and plant some patio pansy bowls. Four packs of pansies are already available. I use small, lightweight plastic pots for this. The reason is that they must still be taken inside if it dips much below freezing.
Acclimate the pansies to outside conditions gradually. With too much sun, the leaves will turn purple. Keep the pots moist and feed every few weeks to help the plants bulk up. Then switch to bloom booster fertilizer for a great show in April, May and June. Under no circumstances should you ever wait until Mothers Day to plant pansies, as you will only get a scant few weeks of enjoyment. Summer heat is the pansy's worst enemy.
A seed-starting kit may be used over and over to germinate batch after batch of seedlings. Most popular annuals and vegetables, such as marigolds, zinnias, peppers, squash and tomatoes are best started in mid April. These seedlings should be planted outside in late May or June, depending on weather trends at the time. Consult seed packets for detailed growing information on each plant.
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