After months of bitter cold and snow this winter, spring is finally here and it’s time to show your garden some love. However, be sure you’re ready for a roller coaster of a season. One day the sap is rising and the next it falls for a quick drop below the freeze line, but you can still crank up your gardening chores.
So, get out your mud boots, put on your gardening gloves and head outdoors to get to work. Bring with you these early spring garden and landscape maintenance tips straight from Mary Palmer Dargan, our resident gardening expert:
I like to cut back my hydrangeas, both the tardiva and limelight varieties, waiting until after the last frost to cut the blue macrocarpa varieties and grape vines. You’ll have beautiful blooms later this season!
Now is the time to plant nuts and berries, such as blueberries, strawberries and berries on canes. Just the thought of fresh picked berries from the garden is enough to keep you warm until summer! For established vines and fruit trees, it’s best to wait until the worst weather has passed before pruning. Fertilize fruit trees as soon as possible after the ground thaws.
Watch for seed starting opportunities and send off your orders. Spring planting will result in a bountiful harvest to enjoy this summer. Plan to grow at least one new vegetable this year! I am growing leafy Chinese types. What do you have in mind?
Break up garden beds and turn the cover crop. Be careful not to double dig as this disrupts the delicate mycorrhizae system that makes a healthy soil. Mycorrhizal fungi are valuable natural allies that assist with the biological processes of gardens, such as helping plants take up more phosphorous, as well as accumulating carbon in the soil and improving its clumping ability.
That should be enough to keep you busy this week, but be sure to watch for more of Mary Palmer’s early spring garden and landscape maintenance tips on our blog in the near future.
For help designing a master plan or tune-up for your garden or landscape, contact Dargan Landscape Architects.