Planting Flowers in Westchester County, NY: Timing, Top Picks & Gardening Tips

The Perfect Timing for Planting Flowers in Westchester County, NY

If you're a gardening enthusiast in Westchester County, New York, you may be wondering when the best time is to start planting annuals and perennials. The good news is that the perfect moment is just around the corner! In this blog post, I'll discuss the ideal time to plant annuals in Westchester County, how perennials can contribute to a healthier, more sustainable environment, the best annuals to choose, my favorite nurseries, and the essential tools to include in your gardening tool kit.

Timing Your Planting: Last Spring Frost

On average, the last spring frost in Westchester County occurs on April 18th according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. It's essential to wait until after this date to start planting your annuals, as tender plants are susceptible to frost damage. To give your annuals the best chance of thriving, plan to start planting one to two weeks after the last frost date, which would be between April 25th and May 2nd. This will ensure that the soil has warmed up enough and that the risk of frost has significantly decreased. Be sure to get out to local nurseries and make your selections early before all the best plants are snapped up!

Top Perennials to Plant in Westchester

Perennials are a popular choice for many gardeners in Westchester and for good reasons. Not only do these plants return year after year, adding beauty and color to your garden, but they also provide a host of environmental benefits.

Coneflowers (Echinacea): These striking, daisy-like flowers come in a variety of colors and attract pollinators, making them an excellent addition to any garden.
Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia): With their sunny yellow petals and dark centers, black-eyed Susans create a cheerful, eye-catching display. They're also low-maintenance and drought-tolerant.
Hostas: Known for their lush foliage, hostas are a must-have for shaded garden areas. These plants come in a wide range of sizes, colors, and leaf patterns, allowing you to create a stunning, textured display.
Coral Bells (Heuchera): With their vibrant, bell-shaped flowers and attractive foliage, coral bells add a touch of elegance to the garden. They're also versatile, thriving in both sun and partial shade.
Astilbe: Astilbe produces feathery, plume-like flowers in various colors and is perfect for adding a touch of drama to shaded garden areas.

Environmental Benefits of Perennials

Perennials offer some sustainable benefits to the environment which include the following:

  • Soil Erosion Prevention: Perennials have deep root systems, which help to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. This is particularly important in areas prone to heavy rainfall, as it helps maintain soil quality and reduces runoff.
  • Support for Pollinators: Many perennial plants, like coneflowers and black-eyed Susans, produce nectar-rich flowers that attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. By providing a food source and habitat for these essential creatures, you're helping to support local ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • Reduced Water Usage: Perennials are often more drought-tolerant than annual plants, meaning they require less water to thrive. This not only saves you time and money but also conserves a valuable resource.
  • Carbon Sequestration: Perennials have longer growing seasons than annual plants, meaning they have more time to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. This process helps to mitigate climate change by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • Natural Pest Control: Many perennials have built-in pest resistance, reducing the need for harmful chemical pesticides. By choosing these plants for your garden, you're creating a healthier environment for both your family and local wildlife.

Top Annuals to Plant in Westchester

Marigolds: With their bright yellow, orange, and red blooms, marigolds are a popular choice for adding color to your garden. They're easy to grow, require minimal maintenance, and have a natural ability to repel pests.
Petunias: Available in a wide range of colors and patterns, petunias are an excellent option for filling hanging baskets and containers or creating borders in garden beds.
Zinnias: Zinnias thrive in sunny locations and are known for their vibrant, long-lasting blooms. They're perfect for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.
Impatiens: For shady spots in your garden, impatiens are a fantastic choice. These shade-loving plants come in various colors and produce a profusion of flowers throughout the season.
Begonias: Another option for shady areas, begonias offer a wide range of colors and flower types. They're versatile and can be grown in both containers and garden beds.

My Favorite Nurseries

There are many terrific nurseries in Westchester and nearby CT, and I cannot name them all, but here are a few of my favorites.

Sam's Bridge Nursery 437 North St, Greenwich, CT 06830 Phone: (203) 869-3418 Sam's Bridge Nursery is a family-owned business that offers a wide range of plants, trees, and shrubs, along with gardening supplies and expert advice. They pride themselves on providing quality products and exceptional customer service to make your gardening experience enjoyable and successful.

Gedney Farms Nursery  870 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, NY 10605 Phone: (914) 949-4100 Gedney Farms Nursery is a full-service garden center that offers a diverse selection of plants, trees, and shrubs, as well as gardening supplies and landscape design services. Their knowledgeable staff is always ready to assist you in choosing the perfect plants for your garden and providing expert advice on their care.

McCardle's Floral and Garden Design 48 Arch St, Greenwich, CT 06830 Phone: (203) 661-5600 McCardle's Floral and Garden Design is a renowned garden center that specializes in providing beautiful floral arrangements, high-quality plants, and personalized garden design services. Their experienced team of horticulturists and designers will help you create the perfect outdoor space for your home. 

Larchmont Nurseries 2315 Boston Post Rd, Larchmont, NY 10538 Phone: (914) 834-4900 Larchmont Nurseries is a family-owned and operated garden center that offers an extensive selection of plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs. In addition to their impressive inventory, they also provide landscaping and construction services to help you create the garden of your dreams.

Rose Hill Nursery  3 Avon Rd, Bronxville, NY 10708 Phone: (914) 337-0351 Rose Hill Nursery is a full-service garden center and landscaping company that has been serving Westchester County for over 50 years. They offer a wide variety of plants, trees, and shrubs, as well as gardening supplies, to help you create a beautiful and thriving garden.

Nature's Cradle Nursery 55 Mill River Rd, Eastchester, NY 10709 Phone: (914) 779-8723 Nature's Cradle Nursery is a premier garden center that offers a diverse selection of plants, trees, and shrubs, as well as organic gardening supplies and landscape design services. Their knowledgeable staff is committed to helping you choose the right plants for your garden and providing expert advice on their care and maintenance.

Rosedale Nurseries 51 Saw Mill River Rd, Hawthorne, NY 10532 Phone: (914) 769-1300 Rosedale Nurseries is a well-established garden center that provides a wide range of annuals, perennials, and landscaping supplies. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you select the perfect plants for your garden and provide expert advice on their care, ensuring a beautiful and successful gardening experience.

Key Gardening Tools for Your Toolkit

Trowel: A trowel is an essential tool for planting annuals, as it allows you to dig small holes and move soil with ease.
Pruner: Keep your plants looking their best with a quality pruner. This tool helps you trim dead or damaged growth and maintain the shape of your plants.
Gardening Gloves: Protect your hands from dirt, thorns, and other hazards with a good pair of gardening gloves.
Watering Can: A watering can with a long spout is ideal for delivering water to the base of your plants without splashing the foliage.
Garden Kneeler: A garden kneeler provides comfort and support while working in your garden, making it easier to tend to your plants for extended periods.

Time to Get Gardening!

The ideal time to plant annuals in Westchester County is one to two weeks after the last spring frost, which typically occurs around April 18th. By choosing the right perennials and annuals for your landscape, you'll not only create a stunning garden that returns year after year, but you'll also contribute to a healthier, more sustainable environment.

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