How does one de-winterize their garden? How do you know if your yard and plants are where they should be for the time of year? When can you expect to see beautiful plants on your walks and runs through your neighborhood? If you’re anything like this author, you don’t know where to start. Conservatory Horticulturist Barb Arnold says the keys to a healthy garden are simple. Here are tips to make your garden—and even just your lawn!—look brand-new and ready for the coming months of rain and sun.
Spring Garden Tips:
Dandelions and forsythia bloom when soil temps reach 55o.
Don’t wait to cut back ornamental grasses, March is a great time to cut them back to 4-6 inches.
Cut back perennials that were left for winter interest and birdseed.
Spring bulbs should be popping up this month.
Cold temps won’t bother the foliage but become a concern when plants are in flowering or budding phases.
There are early, mid and late blooming spring bulbs, be on the lookout for them starting now.
Cold crop veggies can be planted in March—this includes cabbage, broccoli, swiss chard, radish, spinach and lettuce. (NOTE: lettuce needs a bit of protection from the cold temps, a frost blanket is best)
Cut some flowering branches to force (forsythia, crabapple, cherry, quince)—basically, this means cutting back branches to force them to flower.
Wait to plant summer annuals until mid-May (after May 15). There is a HUGE temperature difference between May 7 and May 14. Just because you want to plant early doesn’t mean you should. Mother Nature and the weather will always win!
Wait on summer fruits and vegetable crops until the middle of May. Cold soil and the threat of frost are not your friends. Wait until May 15 for tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, okra, basil, beans…and there will be no issue!