Now that it’s officially here…I’ve been dying to get into my garden more than ever. I’m dying to do…and give y’all some garden tips for spring. This has been a strange and upsetting year. I really want, badly, to get in my yard and work. I’m discovering that things are going to be different for me. I’m not getting to do all the things I want to do…but that shouldn’t mean I can’t share some ideas with Y’all. Have Y’all seen my Plants identification markers?
Ordinarily, I would be out raking and gathering debris that has gathered over the winter. I generally don’t cut the dead growth off of my plants in the fall. I have a couple of reasons for this. First, this keep the plants mulched for the winter. I have found that most plants don’t want very much water during the winter….remember they are sleeping, and don’t need much. Watering during the winter can cause rot. By leaving the dead foliage, I’ve found that I don’t need to water at all during the winter, unless we just have an exceptionally warm and dry winter. Secondly, this foliage serves as insulation for the roots. I have many plants that are marginally hardy in my area. ( I love pushing the zone!) By leaving the foliage, I’m adding some free natural insulation. Thirdly, I leave the foliage for interest. I find the texture interesting….and IF and WHEN it snows….I makes for very interesting patterns in the snow. During the winter, I crave garden time….a walk in the yard during this boring time, is enhanced by any texture and pattern. Here in the harsh West Texas climate, evergreen foliage is very limited. We have a sparse variety of interest in this category. Finding ways to add to the garden in the winter is essential.
Come spring, when the birds begin to frolic, and sing in a romantic tune, I generally cut down the foliage. By this time, all that foliage that served me well….becomes ragged….and is quite ugly. With pruners in hand and a wheel barrel, I start cutting the old stocks down. In the spring, there is nothing more refreshing than a “cleaned up” look the the flower beds. (Odd, how different I feel about the stocks during the different seasons.) Maybe it’s just my constant need for change, that makes me feel urgent to get the gardens cleaned up. Some of the less woody foliage….I’ll just throw out in the yard. here’s my reasoning: The yard begins to grow, soon to be needing mulch. Now, unless you just have seriously WET springs and summers, I don’t know of any lawn that couldn’t use some help here. I bag my clippings sometimes…but most of the time I just let my mulching blades do the work for me. Again, being a West Texan, you learn the little subtle ways to cling to moisture. I’m sort of a naturalist, I like to let nature take care of as much as possible. This means that I don’t have a perfect pristine lawn. But, let me just say, most plant experts will tell you that, natural is the best way. A landscaper will, mostly, try to convince you to use artificial ways to deal with problems. My point is, I get winter grass…in the spring it’s getting tall….so I chunk the softer foliage out in the yard…then I mow with my mulching blades….cutting the ragged tall winter grass…and chopping up the dead cuttings, leaving my yard ready to maintain my spring waterings. Does this make sense? I DO, however, fertilize in the spring….I haven’t this year, because of the physical issues that I’m going through…but I’m fixing to hire someone to come and help me out till I can get back to some of these things myself.
I know I’m getting wordy…lol….but if you have seen any of my yard and garden pictures…and want to follow along….then start with these tips….and we’ll garden together this year.
What are some of your first spring chores? Do you like gardening the natural way?…..or are you out with the spray bottle right now? See what I got this spring?
I guess I decided I needed more to do this year! lol So…Y’all will get to watch these little darlings grow up!