It is almost time to start working with the first outdoor plants of the season. You can enjoy the beginning of spring by planting early spring-blooming flowers. These plants will not only lighten up your spirit but will also add some colour to your yard weeks before other plants start blooming.
Perennials live more than one season, bloom, and grow from year to year. They can be planted in the ground in April, but they may not thrive and bloom until the soil is warm in May or June. Early bloomers include Bleeding Hearts, Coral Bells, Creeping Phlox, Hellebores, Lupines, Pulmonaria, Primroses, Violets, and Solomon’s Seal. When planted in the fall, spring flowering bulbs such as Crocus, Daffodils, Hyacinth, Irises, and Tulips also fall into this category.
Annuals live only one growing season. Cold tolerant annuals can survive a light frost. They include Alyssum, Dianthus, Dusty Miller, Geraniums, Pansies, and Petunias. Cold tolerant annuals can handle temperatures between zero degrees Celsius and minus three at night when they are well watered in the day. If it is extremely cold, watering off the frost before sunrise will eliminate damage to the plants.(1)
Native plant choices for early spring blooming include Bee Balm, Bloodroot, Golden Garlic, Allium, Echinacea, and Hepatica.
April is too early in our area to plant certain flowers outside due to inconsistent temperatures. Wait to plant frost-sensitive vegetables or flowers past the frost-free date found at the link below. https://www.almanac.com/gardening/frostdates/ON/North%20Bay. Research your gardening zone for the best planting times as weather and zones differ. Research the sunlight requirements for the plants you grow, and make sure that your flowerbed is exposed to the sun as required. Refer to this article or ask the knowledgeable garden centre staff in your area for suggestions on cold-tolerant plant options.
These tips come from the North Bay Heritage Gardeners’ and Heeman’s garden guide – https://heeman.ca/garden-guides/welcome-spring-with-these-early-annual-and-perennial-options/ If you are interested in gardening – join the North Bay Heritage Gardeners! New volunteers are always welcome. No gardening experience is required. Visit https://northbayheritagegardeners.com
Kayla Gervais, Office Administrator
Suite 112-245 Oak St. E.,
North Bay, ON P1B 8P8