Early Spring an Omen of Things to Come?
Early spring like we are experiencing in the Northeast is always just a little bit of a tease to all us garden enthusiasts. The crocuses and daffodils are up early, forsythia coming out, everything seems to be humming along, and all of a sudden we want to replant the whole garden. The only problem is limited plant availability. Fresh plant material is usually dug around the same time and does not hit the local nurseries until a couple of weeks later. Additionally, the grass still looks ratty and is not greening up fast enough, and nothing else seems to be growing!
Some things we can do while we wait:
1) Dethatch your lawn; go after is with a rake and rake out all those dead blades that the grass failed to consume for one reason or another.
2) Give your lane a little nitrogen boost. This can be done with corn gluten which will also inhibit weeds from germinating.
3) Transplant that tree or bush you have been wanting to move for the last year. Now is the time to do it and it will make space for the new plant material your anxious to get this spring.
4) Hand weed or spot spray weeds before they get going. Hand weeding may be more labor intensive, but it will spare those good microbes in the sol that even a little spot spraying will kill.
5) Prune out deadwood from hedges and ornamental trees
6) Give deciduous hedges like privet a hard prune (but leave alone spring bloomers like forsythia)
7) Go buy a composter and start composting your organic waste for re-use in the garden
8) Cut back any ornamental grasses from last year, cut back damaged liriope, or dead perennials you may have missed.
9) Spread some composted topsoil lightly over your lawn if you have poor soil quality
10) Soil test to find out what the pH and nutrient needs of your lawns and beds are. You cant really feed the soil if you dont know whats in it already and if your pH is too high or low, the plants wont be able to absorb the nutrients anyway.
With any luck, the warmer temperatures will hold and we will have a fabulous garden year!