Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It is time to get serious ...Spring is here!

    Now that the worst of the weather has hopefully passed the time has come to get going on our gardens and more importantly on our moods. Look for little encouraging signs like the blooming of the Cherries and Thundercloud Plums, trilliums bursting out of the ground with their white buds taunting us, and increased availability of half hardy veggies and flowers. Daffodils peaking means Spring is here and excuses are few and ill advised. I know final bedding plants are only safe after Mothers Day,.even here in western Washington but there is so much to do now!  Besides planning  the warm season garden, busy your selves with the obvious chores at hand; remaining clean-ups, moving plants, dividing perennials that are exhausted, slug and snail control and above all resetting your gardening clock. Any day now you too will be in the mid-spring frenzy of catching up and moving forward best one can.  My advise is to do what you can now and save yourself from over exertion soon to be the seasonal mantra.Regard the persistent spring rains as help rather than hinderence for soon enough we will be at the mercy of the hose and water supplies. Cheer yourselves up with some meaningful project crossed off the list and the thought of real Spring and Summer on the horizon.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March is a busy time for gardeners.

   March is one of the busiest times for gardeners in Western Washington.  Besides the leftover chores of pruning and winter cleanups now is the time to divide many perennials.  Many perennials like to be divided on a regular basis such as most Irises, Asters, and Daylilies.  Notice a decline in flowering and plant vigor and it is time.  The rule of thumb is to divide summer and fall bloomers now and spring performers in the Fall.  Phlox, Heleniums, Rudbeckias, Hostas and Campanulas can be rejuvenated now and propagated ; easy to do when the young shoots are visible.  Early bloomers like Bleeding Hearts, Columbine, and Primroses should wait until Fall.  Having said that most real gardeners are more independent and rely on past experience and intuition to guide their efforts.In any case the time you put into the garden now is well rewarded by the ease of gliding into spring and summer.  Also this month is great time to fertilize the newly emerging plants; my favorite brand is Hendrikus Organics coming in several formulas and easy to apply.  Do not forget to put out pet safe iron phosphate such as Sluggo around Hostas, Ligularias and most everything else.  My best advice to all you itchy gardeners is to persevere and Spring will arrive shortly.