Every gardener anxiously awaits the first blossoms of spring. A time of bounding growth, springtime offers lengthening daylight hours and mild temperatures, which allows perennials to break dormancy, bulbs to burst forth and seeds to begin germination. Officially, spring begins on March 21 each year, but plant growth can arrive sooner or be delayed due to climatic weather conditions.
Gardeners plan for spring well in advance. Spring flowering bulbs require a fall planting time to produce abundant blossoms each spring. By planting bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths each winter, the bulbs are able to undergo a period of cold stratification. The freeze and thaw period signals to the bulb that it is time to begin growing.
Planning for Annual Flowers
Annual flowers live out their entire lives in the spring and summer. Many gardeners begin annual seeds indoors weeks before the last frost of spring. This allows the plants to have an extended growing period and gives them a head start. Most annuals are cold sensitive and will perish or suffer serious damage if there is a late springtime frost. Popular spring annual flowers are the petunia, pansy, geranium and begonia.
Perennials flourish from spring into fall. During the first hard fall freeze, most perennials die back and go dormant. All top foliage perishes and the roots cease growing. During dormancy, the plant requires very little water or nutrients to survive. When spring arrives, the perennial springs back to life and begins to grow with renewed vigor. During the spring growth, many perennials produce their first flowers. Shasta daisies, astilbes and peony plants produce springtime flowers.
Flowering plants begin to grow during the spring months but so do unwanted weeds. Spring is the best time to care for the garden flower plants and limit weed growth by applying 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the flowerbeds to aid in cultivation and limit weed growth. During the spring most flowering plants also require their first application of fertilizer. The plant's rapid growth and flowering require ample nutrients.
Spring is the ideal season to plant flowering plants within the garden. Young transplants will quickly grow in the cool spring weather. The moist soil allows the plants to stretch out their roots and become established before the heat of summer slows down the plant's growth rate. Most flowering plants benefit from early spring planting after the danger of all frost has passed.