Korey Mensch of Mensch Greenhouse, Inc., Avon, South Dakota, (605) 286.3638, grows plants for retail outlets throughout a three state region with a retail store in Avon. Thanks to Korey for sharing thoughts as we wait for spring.

• With severe temperatures outside, cabin fever is hitting many people hard. Hoping for spring and a turn in the weather forecast is a gardener’s favorite pastime during these short days.

• This time of year we are preyed upon by the dreaded mail-order plant catalog. Proceed with caution when looking though these publications. They will entice you to desire old varieties that are gone for a reason. Mostly they will attract you to want plants that have no chance in the Northern Plains, with our harsh dry wind and endless periods of humidity.  If you are willing to do the research, provide the perfect environment, and spend time every day tending to your plantings then, by all means, go ahead spend your money.

• If you are like most gardeners however, plant the species that are tried and true for our area and are provided by a respectable local grower.

• The promises we all make to ourselves each year to take better care of our gardens, always works great until something comes up. When you choose plants that are “easier to care for”, that does not mean they don’t need care. You need to fertilize, not once, but at least weekly. When we have higher humidity, a fungicide may be necessary.  

• Cut or pinch plants back from time to time during the season.

• The pots, hanging baskets, and other planters no matter the size, need water on a daily basis. Don’t for get to fertilize.  

• Petunias are probably the best flowering plants for our area and will take whatever is thrown at them, but the care is still essential for beauty from planting to frost.

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