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Feb 182011

(Springfield, MO) — If you can believe it, spring doesn't actually start for another month. But these unseasonably warm temperatures have a lot of people already moving on from winter.

One of the best places to get into the spring spirit is the annual Lawn & Garden Show that started Friday at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds E-Plex.

With so many gardening gurus, what does it really take to make your garden grow?

"I would say have your own compost," says gardener Beverly Pitts. "That gives you all the nutrients basically you need for your soil to be amended."

People like Hal Williams have been gardening for more than 50 years and know the ins and outs of planting.

"To be a gardener it doesn't have to be an acre of ground," he says. All it takes is good dirt and a little sunshine.

"I think anybody can do lettuce and radishes and green beans and tomatoes."

And when it comes to landscaping in the Ozarks, there are some clear winners for trees.

"One tree would be a dogwood," says landscaper Steve Varney.

"Probably a pin oak," says Pitts. "It's a fast grower. Gives you plenty of shade."

The same goes for plants and flowers.

"Hostas are probably one of the most commonly chosen, mainly because they do well in a lot of different areas," says farmer Lindsay Cross.

"Probably be rhododendron," adds Varney. "Stays evergreen and blooms in the spring."

"For a bush, I would probably pick a lilac," says Pitts. "You have spring beauty, great smell if you plant it close to the house, and it's easy to maintain."

Overall, these veterans of the garden say to take a risk and try something new.

If you couldn't make it to opening day of the Lawn & Garden Show, you still have plenty of time to enjoy the event.

Click here to learn more, or call (417) 833-2660.

Saturday 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Adults are $4 and kids under 12 are free.