Have you stopped to listen to the birds calling from the trees? They are so in tune with the weather you can feel their excitement! Everywhere I look there are signs of rebirth, birds are looking for mates and nesting places, the first flowers of spring, our ephemerals, are blooming or getting ready to burst any day. In my garden and throughout our area, spring Crocus are the first to bloom. Then, Snowdrops, Daffodils and Bloodroot. These trio I prefer to Crocus or Tulips because deer and rabbits leave them alone, and we actually get to enjoy the blooms!
Probably the best thing to do as we enjoy some sunshine and balmy temperatures, is complete all major pruning before trees and shrubs come out of dormancy. Trim off dead or broken branches, thin out multi stemmed bushes to increase circulation and promote new growth. Remove tallest branches to a ‘y’ to reduce height and keep the shrub looking shapely and balanced.
Contract for a yard cleanup or start the cleanup yourself, if you have space in your yard, all leaves and soft wood clippings can go in a compost pile. Leaves could be ready, with the right conditions, to use for mulch by fall.
Let’s get out and enjoy the flowers!
“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~Mark Twain
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And with the arrival of March, snow finally melted, and the ground reasonably dry, it is time to start stepping out into the garden. As I look outside on this glorious sunny day, my mind runs down a long list of chores that need to be attended to and at the very least today, a walk thru the garden, armed with paper and pencil, will be a big step to assess winter damage and what needs my immediate attention.
I have spent many hours this winter pouring thru catalogues (haven’t we all?), reading, planning and dreaming of all the improvements and new plants to add to the garden this year. But the most important decision was to start laying the ground for a vegetable patch. In my area, first thing that needs to be taken into consideration is a deer fence. Oh deer, ever present on the thoughts of a gardener. I have become accustomed to looking up every plant I covet for its deer resistance. See the complete list here.
Without even going outside, I know that top on my list for March chores are to put down a seed germination inhibitor, check my viburnums for Viburnum Leaf Beetle eggs before they hatch in spring, these tiny caterpillars will defoliate the new buds of the shrub and stunt its growth. Look for little bumps in between leaf nods on the tips of the branches. I cut those and dispose of them in the garbage not the compost pile. I also like to cut some branches from Forsythia and Japanese cherry for forcing and do some of my shrub pruning before they leaf out, this is when you can more easily see the overall structure of the shrub, taking into consideration those early spring bloomers, I want to make sure not to cut off my spring blooms!
Well, I am off to the garden, more of spring, chores and plants later.
“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.” ~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard inKathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You