SPONSORED ADVERTISING: Spring yard trends: organic spaces to connected gardens

- Long, hot summers are a trademark here in Atlanta and throughout much of the South. The heat often sends the mercury in excess of 100 degrees and coupled with sandy, loamy, more acidic soil, a successful garden can be a challenge for many. But with the right mix of plants, fertilizer and technology, a healthy, lush and attractive garden is easier than most think.

Some of the most popular plants in Atlanta have traditionally included azaleas, ginger lilies, black-eyed Susans and tropical hibiscus. While mainstays, there are several new trends that have caught the attention of gardeners in the area.


Go Organic

One of the biggest trends this year is organic gardening. The trend started with produce and poultry, continued with farm-to-table restaurants and is now making its way into the home garden as part of the larger trend of healthy living.

When it comes to selecting the soil, consider organic soils. The moisture-retaining soil includes natural ingredients that provide a safe and natural way to grow fruits, flowers, shrubs and vegetables. Additionally, organic fertilizers are a great alternative to traditional fertilizers and provide the big three nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) and elements such as zinc and copper that may be missing from the soil.

Vigoro is a trusted brand with organic options, and it’s been around since 1924 helping gardeners create their lawn and garden oasis for decades.


Breathe New Life into the Yard with an Edible Garden

Building on the organic trend, green thumbs have also shown interest growing edibles. Aside from the aesthetic value, growing produce is a great way to save money. Just preserve or pickle produce for use throughout the year.

For starters, prepare a space for this garden. Check out the latest innovations from Fiskars, including a new line of clearing tools that is perfect for dividing plants, cutting root clumps, digging out weeds and edging around borders.

Also consider raised garden beds, which are actually easier for new growers. These garden beds — basically a box built atop the ground — can result in better yields since properly enriched soil is used in creating the garden. Then layer in plants. Herbs and tomatoes are among the most common edibles sprouting up in gardens for spring and summer. To plan ahead, April is a great time to plant Brussels sprouts and Tuscan kale seeds – these will be ready to reap in the fall.


Connect” with Nature, Keep it Simple

There are a lot of new tools to help keep gardening it simple, from technology to plant selection. New “connected garden” products make it easy to spend less time tending and more time enjoying the garden, and help rein in expenses.

Control a whole-yard irrigation system from a smart phone app with the Orbit Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller. It adds WiFi to one of the most easy-to-program timers available, and is available in six and 12 stations, covering most residential sprinkler systems.

For garden beds, plant the Edyn Garden Sensor to track soil moisture and nutrition, humidity, sunlight exposure and temperature via an app. Add in the Water Valve, and the pair will automatically control the water dispersal, saving up to 40 percent on monthly water bills.

You don’t have to be in-ground to create a garden. Simply drop a Vigoro Drop N Bloom, a combination of flowers geared toward Atlanta’s climate into a favorite container. Add in the PlantLink Soil Moisture Sensor, the system will calibrate to the plant’s watering needs using a catalog of more than 50,000 plants.

The right tools and plants will help ensure gardening success in Atlanta. For more tips and tricks, visit the Garden Club online or check out tips on The Home Depot’s online newsroom Built from Scratch. Have questions? Stop in the local Home Depot and ask an associate for more information.

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