Pansies for Spring!

    • Spring vegetables love cool, moist weather and don’t mind a little frost. Set out lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, onion, spinach and Swiss chard starts now.
    • Sweet peas, with their memorable fragrance, can be planted now from nursery starts for wonderful bouquets later this spring.
    • Thin raspberry canes to 4-6 inches apart. Cut back remaining canes to 3 feet tall.
    • Prune Hydrangeas now by removing old flower heads down to the first new leaves. Don’t prune stems which have no old flowers, and they will bloom first this summer.
    • Last chance to spray peach and nectarine trees for peach leaf curl before the buds break open. Use copper sulfate powder for the best results.

Smiling Pansies

The happy faces of pansies are a delight in the garden or in a bud vase on the table. Developed from three wild species, the modern pansies have large flowers, beautifully marked “faces” and a wide range of colors. They add color to the winter and spring garden over a long season.

Pansies are one of the earliest flowering plants, blooming right alongside your spring bulbs. They are low-growing annual flowers that are nice for borders and look very pretty in containers of all kinds. Their heart-shaped, shiny green leaves cover the ground and the flowers rise above them on six-inch stems.

The flowers, up to three inches across, come in almost all colors of the rainbow: violet, purple, blue, pink, red, orange, yellow, white and many exciting bi-colors. Fill an entire bed with pansies for a dramatic spring effect! They also are great in window boxes and containers.

The “old fashioned” pansy has many new varieties to bring early color to your pots and garden beds. Breeding improvements in recent years have produced hybrids that bloom longer, show better weather tolerance, and display a wonderful range of colors and patterns. Seed companies release new varieties yearly.

Pansies have become more popular as gardeners have seen how well they preform through wet, wintery weather. They are unaffected by a covering of snow, and pop right back when the snow melts.

The Delta Series is a group of spring flowering pansies with flowers measuring 2.5″ – 3″ across. They are both very heat tolerant and winter hardy, and offer many pretty bi-colors with faces as well as solid colors. Delta Pure Mix has solid colored flowers in bright yellow, red, blue, white and other colors.

Matrix pansies are vigorous plants that are bred to provide abundant large blooms over a long season and add vibrant color to any landscape setting. They branch quickly and resist stretching so they look their best all through the spring.

Pansies are good companions for spring-flowering bulbs. By choosing colors that compliment the bulbs you can create some very pretty living bouquets. Blooming over a longer season than the bulbs, they will fill in and provide color as the bulbs are finishing their cycle.

When you plant your pansies, water them well but don’t fertilize them for a week or so. They need time to settle in before they can absorb fertilizer. Enjoy some pansies in vases indoors. The more you pick them, the more they bloom.

Springtime isn’t complete without pansies’ smiling faces in the garden.

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