Why The Time is Optimal for Garden Startup
My garden calendar here in the North Country officially begins with Memorial Day weekend. This year the weekend of rain was most welcome as we have had a rather dry Spring. I took the opportunity to put down my granular fertilizer and let the rain do its job watering it all in. The rain also moistened my organic mulch top dress that helps protect my plants. The current weather is optimum for all manner of planting. Frost warnings are over, so it is safe to plant those annuals. The additional rain showers this week have been helpful for new annual plantings. Mother Nature helped those tender root systems establish their homes outside of the plastic pots and cell packs. Annuals in general need more watering throughout the season than do perennials just by virtue of their more fragile root system.
Great Tools for the Task
I took time to get rid of those weeds that popped up after the winter. They can compete with my plants throughout the season and steal nutrients from trees, shrubs and perennial. My handy cobra head tool is my best defense against unwanted weeds.
I also use my cobra head to divide up my perennials. The design of the tool allows me a quick clean dig of root balls as well as separating for transplanting. http://cobrahead.com But avoid dividing your peonies! They prefer the Fall. This is a great time to trim off winter damaged branches from your shrubs. A good sharp pair of bypass pruners is your best tool for this. Larger diameter branches will require a set of loppers . Don”t forget to trim the rose hips off your shrub roses. This will help with blooms
Discourage Wildlife Visitors
Start your application schedule of wildlife deterrent. I have already applied my granular Plantskydd to my strawberry plants. I have an unbelievable crop developing this year without chipmunk damage. The berries are large and plentiful. The dual benefit of using organically based Plantskydd is it’s ability to deter common wildlife and fertilize plants. I began my biweekly spraying of hostas, hydrangeas and other deer loving plants this week. Getting your application started early in the season will help break the feeding frenzy cycle of wildlife. They get the message that your property is not their summer party place. Need to purchase Plantskydd? Visit my display at Dehns Greenhouse on Beekman Street in Saratoga Springs. I also have instructional information on my website http://gardengoddesssenseandsustainbility.com
Season Start up Checklist:
- get rid of weeds
- apply a slow release granular fertilizer
- divide your overgrown perennials (no peonies)
- Trim winter damaged/dead branches from shrubs and trees
- apply a top dressing of organic fertilizer
- plant your annuals
- begin your application schedule for Plantskydd.