In The Garden: Hints From A Mrs. Gardener – Spring Is Here…

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Submitted by Joan Regan

The snow has melted and suddenly there is so much to do outside. This year I decided to get organized (tee hee). Ya sure. But we’re off to a good start. We started to rake up winter, and this year I am going to start at the house until all around the house is finished. Next our driveway, with all the fresh gravel (thanks to Jeff Munn). A couple of sweeps across the front and then on to the back. All of the debris from the trees we have been putting in our North side lot, dumping and racking it out. It will be soil soon enough and it is filling in a couple of low spots that just otherwise would be a wet spot for the mosquitos to breed.
Next will come all of the hanging baskets. Said I was going to cut back on these. NOT. I used to purchase bagged soil for these but with so many of them now I have been using garden soil from Peninsula Out Of Doors, mixed with homemade compost and mulch (POD). 2/3 soil, mulch and compost to even it up. I have been using this method for awhile and have found it works well and is a lot easier on my wallet, and the soil is reusable.
Now is a good time to lay in the green plastic fencing to discourage the sweet little squirrels from digging. The larger containers I leave until the perennials that are in them have poked their heads out.
Speaking of the large/xtra lg. containers, there are two methods to use here: Some folks like to fill the bottom 1/3 with clean plastic containers, while some like to fill them with only soil. I have tried both and lately have been going back to using the container in the bottom. The water from the winter freeze seems to drain out better with this method. Either way, it is most important to keep the drainage holes clean from debris. Always put your drainage holes in the sides not the bottom. Those pesky roots will be in your pots in no time. Some folks have good luck with tipping their larger pots on their sides for the winter. Tried a couple and all the dirt came out. Probably with some help from the little darling squirrels. Back to my old way.
Soon it will be time to head down the HWY for all my annuals. Somehow more perennials seem to slip into my cart as well. However, having already prepared the baskets and the hanging ones it is short work potting them up.
And then it’s get a coffee, pick one of our sitting areas (we have many now…nothing to do with the years we were born), sit back and enjoy.
Happy Spring, Happy Gardening,
Joni
jpregan@amtelecom.net 519-596-2389