Spring Forth!

Spring is here! Time for pansies, mud, and the first greens on the trees… The snow will melt soon, we hope.

The first greens of spring are always exciting; tender new shoots bursting into bloom and leaf are a welcome sight after many months of white. Spring is a time to take a good look at the garden, before it gets too full of the foliage and flower of summer and the long, hot, lazy days begin to take over our senses. So much work can be done while it is still cool and early, and the concientious gardener can use the rest of the season to enjoy the spoils of all the early hard work!

Spring is an excellent time to transplant and divide summer and fall blooming perennials. Dig as soon as the ground has warmed, before they have gotten too many leaves. Be gentle; new leaves are tender, but there is much less chance of shredding beautiful Hosta leaves while they are still small. Replanting in spring ensures a full season’s worth of root growth, which means healthy, thriving plants.

Last season’s faded mulch can be left right on the beds, and top-dressed with a light layer of newer, darker mulch. This improves both the look of your garden beds as well as their health. Mulch helps keep your garden beds at a more consistent temperature and moisture level, which is excellent for healthy root growth and worms and other helpful soil organisms.

A slow-release fertilizer or manure should be added to your garden beds in early spring. This helps ensure the new growth will be nice and strong, and the plants will have enough nutrients to grow all season long. Quick-release liquid fertilizers (such as MiracleGro) are beneficial later in the season when the nitrogen stores have been depleted, and your plants need a quick green-up. Liquid fertilizers are not my preference; proper application of a nice organic, slow-release plant food should keep things green and growing with little other effort on the gardener’s part.

Spring pruning can be done on summer and fall-blooming shrubs and trees. Spring blooming plants should not be pruned now, as you will sacrifice blossoms, and after seeing so many months of snow, noboday wants that! Pruning on these plants can be done just after flowering is done, as flower buds for next year will be set in the coming growing season.

Spring has sprung, the grass is grizz… I wonder where all the birdies iz.