The February meltdown has begun. The calendar tells us Spring will officially arrive March 19th. Are you ready for the 2020 gardening season? Before the last 2 weeks of snow dumps, I was out assessing my gardens, making notes of things that need attention. Apparently, I neglected to get all those acorns out of my garden and lawn areas during my fall clean up. So my neighborhood deer have been hosting late night parties on my property, pawing at the ground and feasting upon the nuts. Never really had that problem in previous years. Repairing those areas means one more thing to add to my late winter garden chores checklist.
Now is a good time to take a stroll around your property and assess the garden’s overall health. During this dormancy period, (The time when your garden is not yet awake from it’s winter’s nap) a few hours of attention now will give your garden a jump start for the coming season. Here are things I recommend you put on your late winter garden chores checklist:
- Evaluate your trees. Is there winter damage from ice and snow? Are they showing signs of insect infestation from last year and their health declining? Are they leaning severely with a chance of uprooting and falling or snapping during the next severe wind storm? There are many thing homeowners can do on their own with pruners, loppers and chainsaws. But for those larger scale trees, you will want to seek the assistance of a trained tree specialist.
- It is a good time of year to prune your ornamental and fruit trees for size and shape . But you will want to stay away form pruning maple or dogwood trees until after leaf out. These are known as “bleeders”. Pruning this time of year can effect the overall health of the tree.
- This is a great time of year to prune and shape shrubs that bloom in the summer. With the absence of leaves, you can see the “bones” of the shrub. This allows you to get the desired size and shape. This is the time I prune up all my hydrangea. (I leave the dried flower heads on in the fall for my winter garden interest). I also hit my hollies with a hard prune if they are in decline.
- We generally experience ice on our driveways and sidewalks this time of year. I highly recommend you use calcium chloride deicer, versus the salt. This deicer is far kinder to your adjacent plants.
- Once you see the greens of your bulbs and plants emerge, apply a good spring fertilizer. In addition to your organic soil this is a great boost for your early garden.
- And lastly, don’t forget to replenish your bird feeders this time of year. The birds are returning to my garden and feasting on the remaining seed heads and berries from the fall. However, I want to welcome and retain their presence all season. They are valuable pollinators and my natural tool to decrease garden pests.
Spring is coming. Do you have a game plan for your garden season? You might need a little “garden coaching“. The Garden Goddess is scheduling workshops and individual coaching sessions to meet your garden needs. Check out my website : http://gardengoddesssenseandsustainability.com
Or contact me at: 518-390-9138 for more information. Let’s get growing together this season!