2017-03-09 / From The Garden

Early Yard Clean-Up and Pruning

By Cynthia Gibson

Start taking advantage of the warm, sunny days now and you will be ahead of your regular cleanup schedule in April.

This is also a great time to clean raised beds, flower and vegetable beds. Most of last fall’s seeds have been eaten by the squirrels and the birds, and the ground is not frozen, so the time is right to weed and remove leaves from those beds.

Spring is not far away, so after the weeding and cleanup is completed, now is the ideal time to apply mulch on beds that do not have new plantings. You should only mulch beds that have permanent, perennial, tree and shrub plantings. Then, if you're adding perennials or annuals to your beds this spring, you will have a clean space ready for the addition of new soil in May.

Resist the temptation to plant the colorful pansies or Johnny- Jump-Ups you may see in the local stores; it is still too cool. It's better to wait until the first week in May. Do not rush Mother Nature!

March is the month for starting seeds indoors. Not only can you start buying peat pots, but you can also purchase potting soil for outdoor planters and pots. Give those outdoor pots a good scrubbing and fill them with clean soil. Cover the tops of the clean soil with plastic bags so that new airborne seeds do not land in the soil.

Make your annual trip to the basement, garage or shed to check that the gardening tools are clean, sharp and ready for spring. Take advantage of the warmer days and dig in. And let’s hope we don’t have snow before our real spring arrives!

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