Spring is here, according to the calendar but don’t get too plant crazy. Early Spring temperatures in Iowa are still very unpredictable, hence the snow in the forecast later today. Yuck! Snow on the ground and erratic temperatures don’t make prime planting weather. Keep those annuals, veggies and new perennials safe by not putting them in the ground yet! Try to hold off your planting until May!
If you’re itching to get outside and get your hands dirty here is a list of things you can do to prep your landscape and garden without endangering your new plants!
Till/Compost: Tilling is a great way to turn under any cover crop or residues left from the fall. After tilling add compost and work in well to avoid harming the tender roots of plants as they grow. Ground Effects is now selling compost and let me tell you, this stuff is amazing!
Trim: Remove any dead foliage or stems from perennials if you didn’t do it last fall. Be sure to trim your grasses as well, removing the dead foliage makes it easier for the new spring foliage to emerge.
You may also start trimming your shrubs. If you have flowering shrubs be sure to investigate if the variety blooms on new growth or old growth. Shrubs that bloom on old growth should be trimmed right after they bloom, shrubs that bloom on new growth can be trimmed now. Check out these rules of thumb provided by Proven Winners. Wait to prune roses until new buds have begun to grow. Stems that now appear to be dead may really be alive and will start to grow next month.
Pressure Wash Patios & Decks: Before you start pulling out your patio furniture and patio planters it’s a great time to get those patios and porches clean. Just with a quick pressure wash you can completely change the look of your patio or porch. Years of dirt, moss and grime come off in a few minutes. Look at that before and after photo to the left, what a difference. If you don’t have a pressure washer we’d be happy to do it for you! Give us a call.
Start Seedlings: If you are really itching to get something in the dirt and would like a head start on your garden try growing some seedlings! There are many ways to start your seedlings, from buying your own flat like a greenhouse would have , to simply using an old egg carton filled with potting soil.
Start Planning: Take a critical look at the plantings around your home. Are your shrubs crowding the front entrance? Do your ornamental trees need to be replaced or could they benefit from a good pruning? Plants have a way of gradually growing out of bounds. Take some time now, before you get busy with summer activities, to decide what needs to be renewed or replaced later on in the summer.
Good luck with your spring activities! If you have questions or need assistance in your spring planning give us a call!