Ens­ley: Polk County fore­cast ready for Pan­sies

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By RICKY ENS­LEY Polk County Ex­ten­sion Co­or­di­na­tor

Pan­sies grow well in Oc­to­ber in North­west Ge­or­gia due to our tem­per­a­tures.

The ideal tem­per­a­ture range for pan­sies is 40 de­grees to 60 de­grees faren­heit from night to day.

In Polk County, most pan­sies are planted in the fall of the year and may even pro­duce a few blooms in late fall and win­ter. Come spring they are well es­tab­lished. Most va­ri­eties are in­tol­er­ant of hot dry weather.

Pan­sies be­long to the vi­o­let fam­ily. Most pan­sies are hy­brids. Th­ese hy­brids are larger flow­ered, more vig­or­ous, ear­lier flow­er­ing, and more heat tol­er­ant than most non-hy­brids.

Pan­sies are avail­able in al­most all col­ors. Flower sizes range from 1 to 4 inches.

Pan­sies are an ex­cel­lent choice for low bor­ders and for bed­ding. They mix well with spring flow­er­ing bulbs.

They also work well in planters and win­dow boxes. They grow best in full sun or light shade. Too much shade will re­duce flow­er­ing and may result in spindly plants.

For bed­ding pur­poses, plants should be spaced about 6 inches apart. A fer­tile soil with drainage is es­sen­tial for op­ti­mal growth.

A split ap­pli­ca­tion of fer­til­izer is usu­ally rec­om­mended- in the fall at plant­ing and again in spring around March.

Avoid high ni­tro­gen fer­til­iz­ers be­cause they tend to pro­duce “soft” plants.

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