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Oklahoma Outside


Spring Plant Shopping Frenzy M


By Allan Storjohann


arch is when it all starts for garden centers and plant nurseries in Oklahoma. Now that the worst of winter is behind us, retailers are receiving truckloads of fresh ornamental nursery stock, fruit trees and bedding plants—just in time for the surge of gardeners and landscapers inspired by the mild springtime conditions. The fi rst couple weeks of the season will fi nd most plants still in their dor-


mant condition. The majority of trees will be leafl ess, and evergreens will still be showing their winter foliage color. But, near the end of March, almost all the plants on display will begin to pop out their baby leaves and blooms. This is a fantastic time to make additions to the home landscape. The only


plants you should wait to plant are the summer vegetable starts or tropical plants. But, if you would like to be assured that the blooming perennial or shrub you want is, in fact, the right variety, or you need to purchase a particular color, it’s a good idea to hold off purchases until plants enter their bloom time. This is especially benefi cial when buying azaleas, hydrangeas, roses, iris and crape myrtles.


Nursery plants come in an assortment of container sizes. Bedding plants are usually sold in fl ats of 18 or 36. The price per fl at is typically the same for either


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one, but the size of plants in the 18-count fl at will be larger and provide a quicker show in the fl owerbed. I personally purchase the 36-count fl at when I can fi nd it, mostly because I like getting twice the number of plants for the same price!


The next size up will be a three-quart or one-gallon-sized nursery container.


Most fl owering perennials and ground covers are sold in three-quart pots, while small ornamental shrubs are sold in the slightly larger, one-gallon size. This is a very economical way to buy plants that will eventually grow to the same size as plants offered in larger pots.


The most purchased sizes these days are the two-gallon and three-gallon containers. Plants are much larger, and because of that, they provide an attrac- tive and more fi nished look in the landscape. The downside to the larger plants, of course, will be the cost: they will be two to three times more expensive, and they take up a lot more room in the car.


Right now is the perfect time to plant trees. Trees are available as a container- grown plant, a containerized plant, or a fi eld-harvested, balled and burlapped plant. The container-grown plant possesses all the roots it has ever grown, hav- ing spent its entire life in a pot until its purchase. This is advantageous for the


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10 WWW.OK-LIVING.COOP


For years, the tobacco industry has promoted a richer, more glamorous life through smoking. Big Tobacco uses cool DJs, hot girls and strong cowboys to hook our young people on a product that kills 1-in-3 smokers. Sadly, Big Tobacco recruits 5,000 Oklahoma kids as “replacement smokers” every year.


Find out what you can do at:


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