Yes, the time is upon us to look at our garden and…START! Yup, it’s really spring now and if you feel anything like myself, you just can’t wait to get at it. So, what first? For me, several “walkabouts” through the gardens happen this time of year taking stock of who’s popping out there heads – the snowdrops are nodding, the squill are showing their blue heads , the crocus are starting. It’s now that I start dreaming and planning my season’s garden tasks. Such fun to be back in the garden!
This is also the time to look for winter damage on shrubs and to get the pruning shears to shape up your shrubs. Most non-flowering shrubs can do with some shaping and opening up this time of year but be sure to check whether your flowering shrubs should be pruned in spring as some need to be left till after they flower (forsythia and mock orange for example). It is essential to prune hydrangea paniculata in the spring to encourage more and larger flower heads. This is also the time to choose the site and prepare the soil for any new shrubs or trees that you plan on adding to your garden. Here are a couple of good links for some pruning information:
(This is from Illinois but they have somewhat similar weather to ours).
Plant some seeds if you have an extra windowsill, sun room or a greenhouse to play in! It is such fun and rewarding to plant a tiny little seed and then later enjoy the flower, herb or vegetable that will grow in your garden. Check out the requirements of the different seeds – some need light to germinate (dill snapdragons) and some need a good covering of soil (nastursium, sweet peas, calendula, tomatoes). Most seeds do need to be covered and a general guideline is plant at a depth of three times the diameter of the seed. One of the most important factors in success with seeds is the moisture: too little and the seeds will dry up, but too much (especially if there is not good air circulation) will cause “damping off” which is a condition where the seedlings just collapse (basically the sprouts have drowned). Bottom heat under the seeding tray is a great helper in germination but be careful that it doesn’t dry out your soil too much. Speaking of soil, a good seed starting soil with fine particles and no bacteria is essential. We have all the gear to get you up and running here at The Bayside – drop in and we would be happy to help.
Happy Planting ahead!
(Have you heard any peepers yet? When they start, the frost in the ground is truly gone!)