Hello again, friends! We now find ourselves deep into April, and if you are anything like us, you’re currently living with garden withdrawals. Nothing greens our thumbs, and gets us itching to dig like the warm sunny days we’ve had lately. Though we do have a selection of plants for your outdoor spaces right now, we’ll be getting tons more in the coming couple of weeks. While we wait for May 15th (the date when we expect to have our full range of outdoor planting materials) here are some projects to undertake in preparation for the beginning of gardening season. When I was younger, my mother used to call these sorts of things “meantime projects,” so without further ado, here are some early spring meantime projects.
This time of year is perfect to give some of your mainstay blooming plants a trim. If you’ve got paniculata hydrangea that bloom on new growth, it's definitely time to cut those back. You will want to be sure that they are paniculata before cutting though; if you cut hydrangea that bloom on old growth, you won’t have any blooms this year (yikes!). Knockout roses are another plant that benefit from a cut around this time of year. Shearing off the old growth helps to get their first bloom started. You can take each of these plants back to about a third of their size to get them ready for late spring and summer.
Now is a great time to use products like plant tone, rose tone, root tone (all organic Espoma products that we carry in store) to give your garden some nutriment as it begins to grow, and blossom. Feeding plants now gives them the time to take up the nourishment and put it to good use so that you really see those results later. Our reason for recommending the organics, and specifically Espoma, is that organic products are not a quick fix like synthetic plant food. Organic products really feed, and condition the soil which is better for the long term health of individual plants and your garden at large.
Cleaning & Preparation:
I don’t know anyone whose favorite part of gardening is the cleanup, but alas it must be done. You can clear out any old, dead vegetation like last autumn’s fallen leaves, and prepare your space for new plantings. You can thatch, and seed your lawn as well so that it comes up green and lush as the warm weather continues. You can even begin to weed and much your planting beds, but you want to be careful not to work the soil too much during the rainy spring season. Working wet soil too aggressively disrupts its porosity and drainage.
We’ve entered the final stretch of the race toward May 15th and the beginning of our major planting season. So stretch those gardening muscles, and make ready. When the time comes, our team will be ready to help you create beautiful spaces indoors and out.
Justin Lievano works in the flower shop at McArdle's, but he believes that a beautiful garden enriches one's life.