Spring Your Garden To Life

Check out these quick suggestions from green thumb Tovah Martin on how to flourish your property this season.


What better time than spring to revitalize your garden? Whether you are new to the task or just digging for fresh ideas, May is the perfect time to begin planting for the summer months. Tovah Martin, author of Tasha Tudor’s Garden and more recently, The Indestructible Houseplant and The Unexpected Houseplant, offers her expertise. So turn over a new leaf (or petal, etc.) and with these helpful pro tips.

What flowers, herbs, and vegetables do you recommend be planted in May?
“It’s wise to wait until after Memorial Day to plant annuals. So, I would suggest focusing on perennials in May. Lettuce and spinach are good early season veggies.”

For an inexperienced gardener, what are some plants that may be easier to start out with?
“Best to follow your aesthetic preferences and ask at the garden center if your choices are good for a novice."

 What are the most necessary "must-have" tools?  
“A trowel, pruners, and a shovel are key.”

Are there any fertilizers/soils that work better with specific plants, vegetables, or herbs?
“I grow organically, so I buy organic potting soil. For organic fertilizer, I top dress with compost and use fish emulsion fertilizer.”

Which flowers and herbs give off the best scents? Are there any that can attract butterflies when planted?
“To attract butterflies, you’ll have to let an herb flower, rather than harvest the tips for cooking. Many flowers attract butterflies. Lilies and roses are prime for fragrance, but there are many more.”

For someone with space constraints, what can be planted, and what pots/planters do you recommend using?
“Look for dwarf varieties in the garden center and check labels. For example, a ‘dwarf’ hydrangea can still be 3 to 4 feet. Always use a container with drainage. That’s key.”

For those looking to cook with they grow, what do you recommend?
“Plant what you and your family love to eat. If nobody eats string beans, skip them. Same with seasonings. Basil is the most popular herb, for good reason.”

What unusual plants or flowers are best for adding color to a green garden?
“Go to the garden center and shop around. You can find the rainbow. Mandevilla is a wonderful vine for a novice in bright, cheerful colors.”



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