Y'all, Spring is almost here! We are a little less than 4 weeks away, and if Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog, was indeed correct, we may be even closer to Spring's debut (!). Already Forsythia are beginning to bud around town, as well as many early Spring flowering trees. What signs of Spring have you seen? Share with us below, and read our tips to get your garden ready for lots of prettiness and new growth!
Cleaning Out Beds & Composting
Now that Spring is only a few weeks away, it is time to be raking leaves out of your gardening beds. If you plan to re-mulch in Spring (and we recommend doing so!), do not worry if you rake out some of your mulch. It is important to get the leaves & debris out of your beds because those harbor insects & fungus which can harm your plant once it warms up.
Once you've cleaned out your gardening beds, it is an ideal time to add a fresh layer of compost to enrich your beds. This will encourage healthy growth this Spring & help nourish your plants. We recommend worm castings, black kow compost, or mushroom compost- any of these three are excellent, natural resources to enrich your gardening beds.
A Safer Insecticide: Dormant Oil
Dormant oil is used to keep bugs away from plants. Any plant can be sprayed with dormant oil & it is what we use to spray our plants with at this time of the year at the Nursery. You always want to spray dormant oil on a day that is overcast (but no rain in the forecast for 24 hours) in late Winter when the temperature is above freezing- never spray it in the Summer when it is hot or it will burn the leaves of your plant.
It is especially useful to spray dormant oil on fruit trees, as they can be prone to mites and other insects. Before your fruit trees bud, spray on the entire tree beginning at the top & slowly working your way down. It will suffocate any insects & their eggs that may be looking to make your tree their home or feeding ground. Using this petroleum-based oil may not completely eliminate any pest problem, but it will certainly help.
Ornamental & Monkey Grasses
If your garden has ornamental grasses or monkey grass, now is the time to cut those back to prepare for new growth. You want to cut ornamental grasses to be about a foot tall, & monkey grass can be cut to be just a few inches tall. Both ornamental grasses & monkey grasses have a neater, nicer look to them if they are trimmed back each year in late winter. Be sure to trim ornamental grasses before you begin to see lots of new growth at the base of the plant.
It is still just a tad early to be fertilizing any trees, shrubs, & perennials. Wait until the very end of February or early March to do so, as long as the weather is staying mild. When picking out a fertilizer, remember this tip to know what each number on the fertilizer bag means: up-down-& all around. For example, a fertilizer with the numbers 5-10-5 means this fertilizer will be providing a lot of nourishment for the roots of the plant (or "down" in reference to "up-down-& all around") at a 10, and will focus less on bloom production (for example) at a 5, or all around production at a 5.
We are always happy to help when selecting appropriate fertilizers for your plants- feel free to ask us any questions at the Garden Center, on Instagram or Facebook, or by giving us a call at 615-468-2008!