We’re almost to our last frost date in Denver. The date varies from roughly 5 May to 15 May, give or take a day. Springtime in the Rockies remains quite unpredictable; and here on the high plains, we dread drought and keep an eye on thermometers just in case a last blast of Old Man Winter arrives in the Mile High City. It’s been known to happen, and it’s not pretty.
What is pretty: Hibiscus blossoms, scented geranium flowers, fresh rosemary garnishing a plate. These plants and many others grace my interior over the summer, yet eventually they begin to grow disruly. Aphids and fungas gnats might infest them. Leaves grow yellow or brown and drop. Plants grow leggy.
They need summer vacation; and so, frankly, do I. Time to kick the plants not to the curb, but to the front porch, to the patio and to the windows in the garage.
They’ll be happier. And so, truthfully, will I. I’ll welcome their ability to instantly improve the chi or feng shui or whatever we want to call the look and feel of a place, a space.
If you’re an indoor gardener in a growing zone that demands you invite in some of your plants to over-winter, you might want to make a sweep past your windows to see if anybody wants to go outside.
Then, be aware of weather. If need be, you can rush containers back inside, cover them with a sheet or a bucket or a cardboard box.
The sun is out. And so, too, today–finally!–are the plants.
Here are a few tips for reintroducing your plants to the great outdoors:
• Move plants to covered areas such as porches or patios. Do not expose them immediately to full sun and wind.
• Keep an eye on your watering. When outdoors, plants may need more water.
• Give your plants a boost with some fish emulsion as an organic fertilizer.
• Or top them off with some compost.
This link includes 10 flowering plants I grow indoors and outdoors:
10 plants blooming in my indoor flower garden
Here are some tips on composting and keeping your plants healthy with fish emulsion:
The dirt on composting
Try fish emulsion as a friendly fertilizer
••• “Cultivate your corner of the world. You grow your garden; your garden grows you.” •••
Colleen Smith’s debut novel Glass Halo, set in Denver, was a finalist for the Santa Fe Literary Prize and was praised in the latest issue of The Bloomsbury Review. The novel is available online and through your favorite bookstore.
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