Time to stretch out those gardening muscles or at the very least daydream about it. No, actually we do have a lot of things that we can do at this time of year…just pick a day when you’re not going to freeze your fingers off or wash away in a monsoon.
Here’s the list:
Prune. Now is an excellent time to prune trees and shrubs. I know I sound like a broken record, but after a drive through my neighborhood and having witnessed some outstandingly bad pruning jobs I have to say…prune according to International Society of Arboriculture guidelines. If you are not sure and want to do it yourself, come and give us a visit and we can give you some pointers or check out your local continuing education or parks and recreation guide. You can also call your local arborist. Hedging can be done any time it’s not frozen or too hot out.
Another great resource for pruning information is Plant Amnesty, a Seattle based organization that has great reference information.
Planting and weeding can be done if the garden is not frozen or saturated with water - my Mother says this will happen sometime in August. Ha ha, very funny Mom, let’s see how chipper you sound when your temp hits the mid 30’s and your humidity climbs close to 100 percent in southern Ontario.
If you’re lucky enough to have a greenhouse, you can start choosing your tomato varieties and other seeds to start inside for April greenhouse planting. Seeds are in-stock now - drop by as soon as possible as the best varieties are always the first ones to go!
Lawns. Towards the end of the month, if the ground is not frozen, wilted or waterlogged, you can apply lime. If it is, there is plenty of opportunity next month.
If you haven’t gotten around to planting bulbs you bought in the fall, you still can. You’ll have a late bloom and the plants will adjust their clocks the following season. We did pot up a whole bunch of daffodils and tulips into containers. They are available now (Feb 2010).
Check your Dahlia and Cannas and other tubers removing any that are moldy or mushy.
Get your tools ready, sharpened and oiled. At some point this month get your lawnmower blade sharpened.
Get your pots ready, check for cracks, stock up on soil mix. Freshen up any winter planters. The Christmas greens may be looking a bit tired, add some new or tuck in some primulas or pansies or some lovely bulbs.
Organize your calendar…March, April and May are an explosion of garden events, Seedy Saturdays and garden seminars. Check out your parks and recreation guide, local newspaper, VanDusen Gardens or UBC Botanical garden websites for event information.
This season, be sensible-ish. Tackle the gardening a little bit at a time. Instead of having weekend long gardening jobs, try doing 15 min a day and on the weekend…admire your work and relax. I’ll give my own advice a go and let you know how it worked!