Mother’s Day weekend the time for planting in central Ohio

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Mother’s Day weekend is the traditional time to plant tender annuals and vegetables in central Ohio, except in the rural eastern valleys, which are susceptible to a light frost into the third week of May.

But you’ll have to work around thick, soggy ground in places this weekend, with few air pockets typical of clay soils, which could lead to problems later if the excess moisture does not drain.

Mark Reiner, a third-generation nurseryman in a family business that goes back 70 years on Oakland Park Ave. in northwest Columbus, described some changes in plant selections in central Ohio as the weather warms.

“Planting tropicals, Florida tropicals, in the ground and in pots, has been a huge and increasing trend over the past couple of years,” said Reiner, who manages Oakland Nurseries. “It provides an amazing show from mid-spring to early and mid-fall,” Reiner noted.

Some work will require heavy lifting.

Before planting a tree or shrub, make sure you dig a hole twice the size of the root bulb, said Reiner, while stressing the importance of keeping the top of the plant about a half-inch above the surrounding soil, effectively creating a cup around the tree to hold in rainwater.

Experts recommend up to 2 inches of mulch. Dark organic matter retains moisture heading into the normally drier summer months, which can be mixed with peat moss and humus.

So far this spring, precipitation is running more than 6 inches above normal in the Columbus area; and that’s coming on the heels of a record wet year in 2018. 

Bill Diamond, a retired Columbus firefighter, is letting his wife Susan make all the Mother’s Day selections.

“I make a list, but I always buy more than what’s on my list,” said Susan Diamond. “She does a wonderful job,” her husband chimed in.

Jan and Jack Branham came down from Westerville to find colorful holiday flowers.

“After 47 years we both like the same thing,” said Jan Branham.

From gardenias to jasmine, hibiscus, shade-loving begonias, hydrangeas, hanging baskets and planters — and an array of garden vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers — it’s finally that time of year.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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