That was an interesting end to February!! It’s been a while since I’ve gone tobogganing and gotten snow down my jacket!! It was a bit awesome and I'm happy to see the soil again.
My snowdrops have already come and gone and the crocus are just poking up from the soil. I am excited to redesign my front garden and organize my back yard. I’ve gone through a lot of rough copies.
It will be an adventure…on a budget pilfered from my fancy coffee allowance. I apologize in advance for any caffeine deficit grumpiness. So before the snow is completely melted away I raise my last mug of fancy coffee and say…Ladies and Gentleman…start your engines!!! The 2014 gardening season is nigh and here is your list:
Play it by ear, tromping on soggy turf will compact it. Once your ground is a bit drier, you can lime, aerate and top- dress with topsoil, or coarse sand. Towards the end of the month, beginning of April, you can think about fertilizing with a good slow release fertilizer like Arts 17-17-17 + Iron.
You can play that by ear too. Waiting to give it a light fertilizing until after you have to give it that first trim, is a good rule of thumb used by many lawn care experts.
Looking outside my window right now it’s hard to believe that mowing is right around the corner.
Here are some lawn cutting tips to get you on the right path:
- Use a sharp mower blade (you can sharpen it or take it in to be sharpened)
- never reduce the height of your lawn by more than 1/3 at any one time
- a slightly taller mowing height will allow for more deeply rooted grass
- leave the clippings, grass clippings do not cause thatch and leaving them when you cut will reduce your need for watering and fertilizing by up to 80%.
If you want to learn more tips and tricks, we’ll have a lawns 101 class taught by our grass whisperer Dave on March 30th. Call 604.882.1201 to register.
Same rule for avoiding soggy soil applies, no matter how excited you are about digging in your garden. Once the soil dries out you can do some weeding, perennial dividing or move some stuff around.
You can do a lot of planning and daydreaming while it’s raining outside, like I am. Take note of emerging bulbs. You can do some topdressing and a light fertilizing by the end of the month or early April. Compost is golden.
It’s a great time to check out the new plants at Art's Nursery! It is a good idea to treat it like grocery shopping and make a bit of a list because sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. Make sure you think about the areas you want to add plants to and when you will most likely be looking at them.
It is a great time to start seeds indoors to get a jump on the season. If you are new to this, we just had our seed starting 101 classes on Saturday the 8th with Kayla our seed guru! If there is more interest, we can always offer this seminar again. Let us know. Check out our other upcoming seminars too!
Inspect any stored bulbs and discard any rotten ones. Now is a good time to organize and plan your plantings. Art's has a great selection at this time. While it's ok to plant some now, wait for the warmer weather for bulbs like Dahlias.
Trees and Shrubs
It’s a great time to cut some branches for indoor forcing from Forsythia, Flowering Plum or Cherry. And a great time to enjoy the blooms on Skimmia, Hellebores, Cornus mas, Viburnum bodnantense and the last bit of the Witch hazel bloom, to name a few.
You can move smaller shrubs when the ground is not soggy and prune trees and shrubs if necessary. Never prune off any more than 1/3 of your tree or shrub at one time and if you are not sure there are a number of pruning classes available to teach you how. You can also start a number of plants from cuttings at this time…like grapes which I will be doing shortly!
Check your local library for books on propagating or Google.
I’ll be starting to graft my heritage apple trees in the next week or so…better go collect some good book tapes because I have a bit of grafting to do!!