Restoring your Lawn after a WNY WinterSpring is in the air! Everyone is itching to get into their gardens and get their hands dirty. Before you begin, ask yourself “What do I want to accomplish?” One look outside can overwhelm even the most seasoned gardener. Gardener’s have their own system and opinion for how to tackle this project. Whether you clean out your garden in the fall or wait until spring, these steps will help get you ready to plant!
Clean up your yard. You need to be able to get to the garden! Pick up sticks and twigs. However, avoid the temptation to put them in your compost pile. They are breeding grounds for bugs and fungi – two things you don’t want to spread!
Assess damage. Wind, snow, neglect, and rodents are just a few of the many things that have changed our gardens since we put them to sleep in the fall.
Trim and prune. Before you clip take these things into consideration. The type of plant, bloom time, does it bloom on new or old growth, and severity of pruning. Many shrubs should be trimmed after they have finished blooming. You don’t want to affect the amount of blooms by pruning off the wrong branches! Remember to start small. Only clip the damaged or dead areas first. Then prune for appearance. Before cutting back your perennials look for new growth. This will show you where to cut. Annuals; dig them out, they won’t survive through the winter. Climbing vines greatly depend on the variety! Clematis can usually withstand a harsh pruning, even as far as the ground. However, a climbing hydrangea should only need minimal, if any, pruning.
Rake out your beds. Remove leaves and debris between and around plants.
Moving and dividing plants. Do certain plants need more or less sunlight? Are your sedum taking over? Now your gardener’s vision is in sight. Think about placement. Are your plants too crowded? Did you plant perennials in September because they were a bargain? Yes, we’ve all done this! Well now they need a home. Spring is the best time to disturb your beds. Plants will have the greatest chance of surviving because they have the whole season ahead of them to grow.
Weeding. Yes, it will need to be done. However, many plants are too small to distinguish between seedlings and unwanted weeds. My suggestion is wait until you can tell the difference, remember what was growing where, or you just can’t stand waiting any longer!
The season has just begun – don’t stress! Everyone has their own approach and nothing is set in stone. Use common sense and remember that if you tackle a little every day, all of your accomplishments will lead to a garden paradise.
Mike Weber Greenhouses, Inc.
42 French Road West Seneca, NY 14224