Thursday, March 16, 2017

It's Time For Some Yard Work

While there may have been a spring forward, I believe we've 
taken a fall backward. It never pays to trust March. She's 
deceiving. Here's what we do know. March will pass. Our 
invitation of change comes next Monday with the first day
of Spring. It will be a day of balance, equal times of light and 
dark, leading us to our journey of longer daylight hours and
temperatures starting to gradually warmup.

With our steady progression through March what does this
mean for our gardens, flowers and lawns. Proceed with caution,
unless you're in a zone 8 and above it's best not to do any 
outdoor planting. An important *tip*.. know your zones for
growing, plant hardiness, and last frost dates. I'm in a zone
6, lower Ohio. If you're a seasoned gardener or just a flower
planter, preparation and planning is major. It's easy enough
to visit the garden centers and browse the garden catalogs.
Do you have a plan for your garden. Do you have raised beds
or a sectioned off area specific to your needs? Below are two
offerings for a sectioned garden. 
This is a simple plan I came up with for a Herb Garden.

Here is a wonderful Kitchen Garden plan done by Susan Branch,
noted author, blogger, and watercolorist. Read her amazing blog  and click the link Home Sweet Home
and go to How to-Kitchen Garden for the complete post.
Reprinted w/permission from Susan Branch (thank you)

The easiest and best thing you can do right now is maintenance and clean
up. With the mighty March winds, I'm been playing "pick up sticks" in
my yard. *Tip* make sure your yard is not overly wet or saturated. You'll
risk compaction of the soil, and do damage to the turf, allowing the weeds
to gain a foothold. *Tip* thought about pavers or small stepping-stones
as decorative access to your plants or the hoses? This would be an easy 
task to place them now. Ready your tools for gardening.. cleaning and
sharpening a must. Get the lawnmower ready. Leaf clutter is expected
with the winds. I'm always amazed by the yard debris when I do yard
maintenance. *Tip* clean-up around the early-bloomers and perennials
allows for water and air to get to the roots, and allows their beauty to 
show through. Prune now those disease-resistant rose bushes, fruit trees 
and berry bushes. I get a lot of questions about hydrangeas and when to  
prune. *Tip* only prune now those hydrangea that produce blooms on 
new growth, like the Limelight variety. *Tip* if you're still not sure about 
other specific flowering bushes, just Google the name of the plant and ask 
when to prune. You can even find videos to help. Prune what you're 
familiar with. *Tip* from here on out, whenever you purchase any plant 
item, save the tag that gives you specific info on how to care for the plant. 
Keep them in a garden journal or large plastic jar for future reference.
Whew!! I think I've given you enough to begin on your path to sprucing 
up your yard for the next couple weeks. Doing a little now will help 
ease that transition into Spring.

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