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Think Before You Plant, Advises Weston Landscape Designer

Weston resident Sandra Visnapuu with husband Kuldar.
Weston resident Sandra Visnapuu with husband Kuldar. Photo Credit: Submitted

WESTON Conn. -- For those who have green thumbs, be advised: Now is the time to start planting.

So said Sandra Visnapuu, a Weston resident and owner of Visnapuu Design which specializes in landscape design.

Her recommendation? Be careful with your plant choices and don’t leave it too late. "Use caution when visiting nurseries with fall sales," she said as often, those plants were probably brought in for the spring market and have sat throughout the season, with minimal attention.

Instead, look for fresh material, locally dug or brought in from other growers. "Don’t delay, act now – an early freeze can kill the roots," she said.

Regardless to specific planting material being set in the ground -- acclimate, establish and anchor roots in the soil, closing up air pockets before the colder spell arrives. Water is key, acting as an insulator to the roots.

Evergreens, she said, are mostly at risk if they are planted late in the season because the wind and cold can damage the foliage. Deciduous trees have already lost their leaves, so have less stress put on them.

"September and October is an optimum time to plant winter and spring flowering bulbs such as snowdrops, bluebells, daffodils, tulips, crocuses, peonies and Iris Rhizomes," she added. "All of those heartening bulbs that will encourage us to get through the cold snap.

"I often say, 'You either feel it or you can't.'"

Visnapuu said the most common mistake people make is looking at a beautiful plant and saying, "I want it!" without having a place to put it. "Whether you're working with a professional or doing your own work, you must plan first," she stressed.

After consideration to the sun, shade, wind, soil, locale, etc. move to the finances. It is your budget, she said, that will determine the size, quantity and material but hopefully not the design.

"I always tell people if you can only afford one thing, make it count," said Visnapuu. "Buy what you love, but buy what is suited."

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