Top five expert tips to help get your garden started |

Top five expert tips to help get your garden started

Catmint and Salvia, pictured here, are examples of perennials with silver or hairy foliage that naturally repels animals.
Cassandra Walker / Sierra Sun |

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Don’t forget to bring your containers to the Villager Nursery this weekend. Purchase plants from the nursery and their friendly staff will fertilize and plant them free of charge. Visit for more.

The Villager Nursery in Truckee has been receiving truckloads of indoor and outdoor plants, including hardy flowers, trees, edible and ornamental varieties, which would make nice additions to local yards this summer.

“There isn’t a last frost date for Truckee’s climate,” nursery manager Joey Eberhardt said. “I cautiously advise people that when the weather is nice here on Memorial Day it could be a good indicator that it’s time to plant your outside containers.”

Early to mid-June is typically a good time to prep and plant outdoor beds and boxes, though it’s important to consider factors including sunlight, grow space and potential critters threatening your crops, to choose the right plants.

“We have all kinds of plants, the greenhouse is full and all of our plants and flowers are arranged in different areas of the nursery depending on whether they’re annuals or perennials, full-sunlight or partial,” Eberhardt said.

As North Lake Tahoe locals welcome more sunshine-filled days, Eberhardt shared his top five expert tips on choosing the right plants for gardens and planters to help people start thinking about the right plants for their space.

On Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 3, the Villager Nursery welcomes guests to get started planting for the season. When visiting this weekend, people are encouraged to bring their own planter boxes or containers, and purchase plants from Villager — their friendly staff will fertilize and plant the new flowers and shrubs, for free.

1. Dirty Work

During the early season, before getting into the fun of planting flowers and trees, it’s important to clear debris from the harsh winter. Be sure to do some yard clean up to remove all dead plant tissue that’s left behind melted snow. Once a clean area for plants has been created use a good fertilizer for an overall healthier atmosphere for plants to thrive.

2. Critter Control

Choosing plants with silver or hairy foliage will act as natural pest repellants to the local critters who share your yard. Choosing perennials like Catmint, Salvia or Lambs Ears will help keep unwanted animals away from your garden.

3. Sun Requirements

Pay close attention to the sun requirements for the plants you choose. Plant arrangements based on which areas of your yard get full sunlight and which areas only see partial sunlight. Be sure to group like-plants together in arrangements to match-up bloom periods, sun and water requirements.

4. Annual vs. Perennial

Annual plants have a longer flowering period and tend to flower more than perennial plants. Though perennials feature less flowers they are fantastic for creating interesting textures within planter arrangements.

5. Wow Factor

Affectionately referred to as the “thriller and spiller” plant style, Eberhardt suggests choosing tall plants for the center of your planter pot or container as the eye-catching piece. Then, fill in around the statement plant with lower-lying flowers or vines overflowing around the container.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

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