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Plant pansies for fall curb appeal | Home & Garden

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Plant pansies for fall curb appeal
Home & Garden
Plant pansies for fall curb appeal

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County Cooperative Extension is a helpful source of information for residents wanting to improve their curb appeal during the fall. With their colorful faces and cold-weather tolerance, pansies are an easy landscape addition if they are installed correctly. Experts from the University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension provide tips to help the “do-it-yourself” gardener.

“Our relationship with the UGA is a true benefit for our residents,” said Menia Chester, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “Because of this relationship, we are able to provide research based proven methods to help residents with gardening as well as many other topics that assist in helping to live improved, healthier lives.”

A few pansy-planting pointers:

Don’t plant more than you can maintain. Annual flowers are high maintenance and require a lot of care to keep them looking their best.

Plant pansies at the right time of year to ensure a beautiful garden. Georgia has three pansy zones. In cooler north Georgia, install them between Sept. 15 and Oct. 1. In middle Georgia, plant between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15. In warm south Georgia, wait until Oct. 15 to Nov. 1 to plant.

Pansies come in a wide variety of colors. Pansy blooms can be solid colors, or they can have shades of pastel colors. Traditional pansies have dark centers surrounded by a lighter color (known as faced pansies). For smaller flowers, plant violas.

After choosing the perfect colors in larger pots and buying at the right time of year, planting is the next step toward pansy perfection:

1. Choose a spot that gets full sun and drains well to prevent disease problems.

2. Prepare the bed. Top new beds with 4 inches of organic matter (such as compost), and work it into the bed about a foot deep.

3. Broadcast fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, at a rate of 2 cups per 100 square feet over the bed. Rake it into the top 4 inches of soil.

4. Plan your bed. Lay out the plants in their pots on the bed, spacing them 8 to 10 inches apart. Rearrange the pots until you get the bed looking just right.

5. Plant the pansy bed from the inside out so as not to crush any plants. Carefully remove each plant from its container, dig a hole and plant it.

6. Mulch plants with 2 to 3 inches of pine straw, pine bark mini-nuggets or shredded hardwood mulch. Carefully place the mulch around the plants, and brush excess mulch off the leaves.

7. Water the plants with a hand-held hose or watering can. Once the bed is thoroughly wet, apply liquid fertilizer, such as 20-20-20 or 15-30-15, which is absorbed by both foliage and roots.

8. Keep the bed moist, but not too wet. Water your plants between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Apply liquid fertilizer once a month throughout the winter.

9. Groom pansy beds once a week by removing spent blossoms and seedpods. Seedpods zap the plant’s energy. Old blossoms may harbor diseases.

Contact one of the offices listed below for assistance with planting your pansies.

Central Office (Downtown) - Central Atlanta Library, 1 Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta -- (404) 332-2400

North Fulton Office – North Fulton Government Service Center, 7741 Roswell Road, NE, Suite 202, Atlanta -- (404) 613-7670

South Fulton Office - 1757 Washington Road, East Point -- (404) 762-4077

Fulton County Cooperative Extension hosts monthly classes on topics such as nutrition, financial management and gardening. Classes are held in various locations throughout the county.  Call (404) 332-2400 for more information.

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