Spring at last… I hesitate to let the words pass my lips for fear that Mother Nature will roar with laughter and let a nice May snowstorm rip! Even if she does I’m prepared. I know it won’t last and I won’t let the thought of it squash the enjoyment of my garden as it starts to wake up. I love the anticipation I feel walking around the garden to see what might be in store for me later in the season. It’s always a bit of a relief to see that bit of green pushing up through the newly uncovered soil. What little color there is right now is a real treat. Thanks to the previous owners a few lone crocuses brighten a corner of one bed and 100 daffodils that I planted 2 years ago are about screaming happy yellow right now. Seriously, I can’t wait!
If you’re as anxious as I am, here are a few things that you can do to prepare while you wait for your garden to bloom in all it’s glory.
- Bring color outdoors to patios, porches, and even the garden with pansy plants, which don’t mind cold nights. To encourage constant flowering, routinely remove spent blossoms and keep them from getting bone-dry.
- Divide summer- and fall-blooming perennials, including delphiniums, irises, chrysanthemums, daisies, and phlox.
- Feed your trees. As soon as the frost goes out of the ground, give them a well-balanced slow-release fertilizer. Scatter about six good handfuls per each 10×10-foot area.
- Have you considered raised beds? They’re a great way to get your garden started faster in the spring.
- Once the garden soil is workable, give it a good stirring and let it sit for several days. Then top-dress it with compost or well-rotted manure.
- Rake your lawn to remove all leaves, dead grass, and small twigs. If you have dead spots in the lawn, plan to patch them before the summer heat. Loosen the soil and work in some good-quality compost, sprinkle grass seed, rake lightly, and tamp to assure good seed-to-soil contact. Mulch with a thin layer of straw. Water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist until the grass sprouts.