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Illinois Green Industry Association--the resource for industry professionals in Illinois--to provide garden tips to our valued gardening consumers in and surrounding Illinois.


Gardening Tips for February

Love is in the air… or is that the first breath of spring? Bulbs will begin to pop their beautiful heads out of the ground this month, buds will begin to slowly swell, and the gardeners start to feel the anticipation of the coming gardening season. Your local garden centers will soon be bursting at the seams with colorful new perennials, and annuals, shrubs and trees. Here are a few things you can look forward to this coming spring and summer, and a few tips to help you get your gardens ready coming planting season.

  • Be on the look out for new plant introductions! Every year there are many new plants introduced to garden centers. Some are great and become tried and true, others maybe not so great….Do your research. Know your hardiness zone and your soil type- these two things can help you pick plants that will perform better in your landscape. The ICN PRO’s at your local garden centers are ready, willing and able to help too! They can help you choose plants for your area and help you figure out where to put them! For the latest plant introductions check out www.chicagolandgrows.org.

  • Hire a landscape designer. Have you ever purchased a plant from your local nursery, took it home and then had no idea where to put it?  A landscape plan created by a professional designer can really help! It allows you to have a plan that you can implement yourself, in stages that fit your budget. So there is no more waste. You can buy plants, know where you’re going to put them and be confident that they are going to work for you. If your not the do-it-yourselfer kind of person, most garden centers and landscape firms have a professionally trained crew that can install your plan for you with awesome results.

  • Now is the time to get out and clean up your gardens. Cut back ornamental grasses, perennials and roses. Some plants are a little more picky than others in how they are pruned. If you have questions, you can contact the ICN Pro at your local garden center for recommendations or for online tips check out web.extension.uiuc.edu/state/hort6.html.

  • The urge to purchase plants out of garden catalogs becomes very strong this time of year But remind yourself, that you’ll be able to see the real thing, in just a few more weeks! And seeing the real thing and asking questions of a professional can really make a big difference!

  • For Valentine’s Day, have you ever considered giving a nice blooming houseplant or a gift card to her favorite garden center instead of chocolates? Many garden centers will have a nice selection of blooming houseplants that she could treasure for years to come. To get a good idea of what’s available check out www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/houseplants.

Your local garden centers are changing constantly this time of year. New products arriving, new plants - filling the greenhouses to the brim! Stop by and catch a breath of spring! You’ll find it relaxing and invigorating!  

by Carey Boehm-Corrie, ICN Pro of the Year (2003), Boehm's Garden Center, Rushville, IL






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