At long last, Spring has sprung in Louisville. Time to get out of the house and into our yards and gardens. From container gardens for those who live in smaller spaces to lawns and landscaping to larger plots of land with vegetable and flower gardens, many resources are available to help bring your piece of paradise into full bloom. Frank Otte Nursery & Garden Center is a one-stop-shop for seedlings and transplants, landscape solutions, supplies, and services. Their experienced, knowledgeable staff (including 3 Kentucky-certified Nurserymen) are there to provide expert advice, guidance, helpful information, and curbside service. Frank Otte’s website at www.louisvillegardencenter.net provides Tip Sheets, Helpful Links, Mulch and Plant Calculators, Monthly Checklists, and Videos.
Frank Otte offers online ordering of bagged and bulk mulch and delivers to most of the Louisville area, as well as local plant delivery and/or planting. Frank Otte Landscape & Design Group, established as a separate entity in 1999, provides Louisville “with a dedicated focus on landscape design, installation, construction, and maintenance.” Their three professional designers have over 50 years combined experience. Landscape Designer / Project Manager Jeff Skelton received a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Purdue University and has over 38 years of residential and commercial experience. The gardens and outdoor living spaces Jeff creates enhance the lifestyles of three generations of clients. Jeff is also a board member for Scenic Kentucky and Farmington Historic Plantation in Louisville.
“I really listen to what my clients are wanting. I take my expertise and make it work,” says Jeff. He considers his specialty to be bringing the indoors to the outdoors, “making spaces more functional to draw you out of the house.” This is accomplished in smaller living spaces with new, smaller patio trees and with patio and terrace container gardening, using different size containers layered with lots of spring colors. Larger areas of land are transformed into outdoor living spaces with water features, lighting, and plant color variety, including a mix of shrubbery, perennials, and annuals. Frank Otte Landscape & Design Group is not limited to the Garden Center and Nursery, which allows for greater plant variety and competitive pricing. Their services are contactless, with phone consultations and work performed outside the home.
Should you choose to go it alone, the Old Farmer’s Almanac founded in 1792 remains a timeless resource (in print and online) for gardening advice and planning, planting and frost calendars, growing guides, weather forecasting, and Garden Tasks by Month. Frank Otte’s April checklist goes into even more detail. Some general guidelines from both sources indicate that April in Louisville is a good month for planting herb gardens, tender vegetables, and warm-season crops. Fresh mulching holds ground moisture and controls weeds. This is also the time for planting and fertilizing new annuals, bedding plants, bulbs, shrubs, and trees. The last week of April is for planting squash and melons. The Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Office is a vital source for soil testing and plant pest identification. Visit www.jefferson.ca.uky.edu for more information.
For those wishing to bring the outside into their apartment, condo, or home, you too can get your green thumb on with container gardens, houseplants, and indoor herb gardens. Indoor plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen and moisture vapor to aid in air circulation and increased humidity levels in the home. Studies have shown that they are capable also of removing toxins from the air, heightening focus and creativity, and reducing incidences of illness, stress, fatigue, and anxiety.