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Spring rush challenges gardeners. Is your community having a garden tour?

Photo courtesy Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center

It’s been spring at the speed of light.

Just like magical gardens, lots of plants are blooming at the same time, rather than staggering their show over several weeks.

Don’t be fooled into planting warm-season plants, such as geraniums, begonias, tomatoes and peppers, outdoors just yet. I know that’s a hard sell when we’ve just come through a slew of days in the 70- and 80-degree range. But as I write this it’s a mere 45 F. Ah, Indiana weather.

Tomatoes and peppers like it hot. When planted in cold soil they will just sit there and do nothing except possibly wither their roots. The normal planting day for warm-season plants is May 10. There’s been recent research that peppers, which like it even hotter than tomatoes, do better when planted more toward the end of May, when the soil has warmed up even more.

If you feel compelled to plant warm-season plants now, do so in pots so they can be moved indoors at night when temps in the 40s threaten.

Read the label

There’s a new Roundup in town. After decades of telling gardeners that Roundup, with a main chemical of glyphosate, is non-selective, which means it will kill any herbaceous plant, such as grass, weeds, perennials and annuals. It can also damage trees and shrubs if they are hit with the chemical.

Despite being clearly labeled as a weed and grass killer, there are hundreds, if not thousands of stories of how people killed their lawns with this product, thinking they were spraying to kill only the weeds..

Enter Roundup For Lawns, which is labeled kills weeds, not the lawn. Unlike other lawn-weed herbicides, this one is labeled for spot treatment rather than spraying the whole lawn.

You still need to be careful with this product when it comes to perennials, annuals and other desirable plants. Lawn-weed herbicides don’t recognize the difference between blades of grass and ornamental plants. And, many lawn-weed herbicides can be harmful to trees and shrubs.

As we should all know, always read and follow the label directions.

Garden tours

If your community is having a garden tour this year, please let me know by May 8 for an article in The Indianapolis Star. Tell me how many gardens are on the tour, if it’s a fundraiser, where to buy tickets, website and who to contact. Please send info to me at the email below.

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