April ☔️ bring May 💐, and we are ready for them! To help us all with spring plantings, we asked local expert, Laura Lapp, to share her favorite gardening tips, tools, and tricks this season.
Laura grew up surrounded by flowers – her mom owned a flower shop. So it wasn’t surprising when she started cultivating a small business, designing planters out of her garage. Eventually, through word of mouth alone, “Perfect Pots” grew from a backyard garage to four locations specializing in year-round container garden design, fresh florals, landscape services, and unique garden décor.
It doesn’t matter if we are novice (Emily identifies as such) or somewhat of a green thumb (Ann has the garden to prove it but gives much of the credit to her husband), we can always use helpful tips from a local expert.
Laura is not new to Fountain Avenue Kitchen, and shared her favorites before, but without further ado, here are Laura’s current favorites…
🌸 Planters Pal multi-use garden tool – This is my favorite gardening tool! It can cut open a bag of potting soil, break up difficult roots from the previous season in a pot, dig out the toughest weeds from the garden, and it even has measurements for planting bulbs at the proper depths.
🪴Frey’s Professional Potting Mix – Great gardening begins with great soil. We’ve been planting container gardens for 15 years, and our favorite soil is Frey’s Professional Potting Mix. It’s a lightweight soil that we use in both indoor and outdoor pots. And we love that it’s made locally in Quarryville, PA! It’s our go-to!
Of note, we also like this potting soil because it has no chemicals or fertilizers added into the mix. This way we can use the same mix for edibles or for flowering ornamental plants. We add fertilizer to flowering pots (see below) and recommend an organic veggie fertilizer for edibles.
🌼 Osmocote – Osmocote is like an essential multivitamin for container annuals, which are heavy feeders. Sprinkle on the top of potting soil prior to planting and it feeds all season long via slow-release each time you water. Now you can reuse the old soil in your containers season after season and just refresh the Osmocote fertilizer!
🪴Houseplants – A new favorite for summertime shade plantings! I’ve experimented the last few years with using houseplants to brighten up dark, shady porch spots and I’m hooked! Where even the toughest shade annuals can’t survive, houseplants thrive and add interest to a dark space. We have some challenging low lighting situations at a few homes and businesses where we plant containers and have found houseplants like croton, pothos, ZZ, rubber plant, palms, dracena, and philodendron hold up beautifully. Their colorful foliage and varying textures, when combined thoughtfully in a container, add striking interest to a cozy space.
🪴 We the Wild – Lately we are loving caring for our house plants with a new product: We the Wild Plant Care Essentials. The organic ingredients really pack a punch, safely preventing and controlling common houseplant pests while providing an attractive leaf shine at the same time!
🌿 A big pot of herbs! – Out of all the pots at my home, my huge pot of herbs brings me the most joy. I love snipping fresh mojito mint, having rosemary at the ready, and walking out to my patio in bare feet to harvest something homegrown! Herbs are easy to grow in containers and often last until the fall…some are hardy enough to even stay green and growing through the winter.
🌿 Bunch of eucalyptus – I love to have a bunch of eucalyptus in my bathroom for a fresh scent. You can hang it right off your shower head or put it in a vase. It fills the whole room with scent, which can relieve stress and help keep sinuses clear.
💐 Everlasting Floral Hat Clips – I love hats all times of year, but in the spring and summer they are my favorite functional accessory. Last year we introduced everlasting floral magnetic hat clips to dress up a plain hat with color, texture and interest. I just love the extra whimsy these clips give to an everyday accessory. It’s a little surprise piece of art that brings a smile to people’s faces.
🌸 Tropical fresh cut flowers – I’ve been enjoying fresh cut tropical flower arrangements all winter and I think it’s going to continue through the year! I love the warmth and island feel they bring inside my home, reminding me of sweet vacation memories! For locals, the floral designers at Central Market Flowers create the most stunning combos of tropical stems that last in a vase two weeks or more. Tropicals can also be found throughout the spring and summer at our stand in Lancaster Central Market.
Happy planting, and big thanks to Laura Lapp from Perfect Pots. We are ready for May flowers!
💐🌿 What are your favorite planting products, tips, or tools? Please comment below, as we love to hear from our readers!