PHOTOS: Spring Has Sprung at Parkville's Poor Boy's

The garden shop on Taylor Avenue is ready for the planting season

is ready for spring—rows and rows of annual and perennial flowers, herbs, shrubs and vegetables await customers eager to plant for the season.

Check out some photos of spring in bloom at Poor Boys in the gallery above.

Garden Center manager Michele Betley was excited to talk to Patch about some of her favorites for this spring.

"We sell a lot of petunias, geraniums, marigolds—old-fashioned stuff, what you might think of as your grandmother's plants," Betley said. "But we also have a lot of interesting, newer varieties."

Some of those include African daisies, which have multiple colors in their petals, and calibrachoa or "million bells," a cascading plant that flowers continuously throughout the season.

"Later in the spring and early in the summer, you'll start to see people looking for perennials and shrubs," Betley said. "But we find that everyone wants instant color after the winter, so they tend to go more for the annuals and the vegetables."

Poor Boy's does have a wide selection of vegetables—everything from artichokes to hot peppers and a total of 40 different varieties of tomatoes.

"Tomatoes are the hottest seller around," Betley said.

And, Betley said, you can get them in the ground as soon as you like.

"There's that old wives' tale about not planting tomatoes until Mother's Day, but you can plant them now if you like," she said. "Just make sure that if it's going to go down into the low 30s, you cover them."

Betley explained that it's not the cold temperature that damages tomato plants, but rather frost settling on their leaves and flowers. Anything will do as a cover, she said, you could use a plastic sheet or even a milk jug or 2-liter bottle cut in half if the plant is small enough.

In addition, Betley said, all of Poor Boy's plants are "hardened off." Because they don't use greenhouses, the plants are exposed to the temperature changes, so that what you see is what you get.

To help your plants along, Poor Boy's has an organic fertilizer "tea" that's produced locally by a group called the Hamilton Crop Circle.

"They work with seven different local restaurants and compost their kitchen scraps, turning them into fertilizer," Betley said. "Everybody's always looking for organic ways to do things—this is a great one, and as a bonus you can't really over-fertilize with it. You don't have to worry about chemical burn like you would with a chemical fertilizer."

When are you planning to plant this spring, and what are you planning to plant? Tell us in the comments.


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