Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Priorities and The Garden

One of the hardest things for me to NOT do is spending too much money at the beginning of Spring, in an effort to make The Garden "pretty"...

I have learned, from experience, that the best stuff you can do in the beginning of the Season is to do a basic CLEAN UP of the flower beds and such.
Start with stirring up the mulch to loosen it and give it better air circulation and the ability to allow more water to be absorbed.
Cut back all of the "dead stuff"...dead stems, leaves and buds...and get busy on those annoying WEEDS !!

Then, once all of the basic "clean-up" has been accomplished, take a little Walk About and really LOOK at your Garden.

Are there "empty spots" that make it look out of balance?
Do you have "bald spots" in your mulch ?
Are some of your plants looking leggy and sparse ?
Start off by seeing which of your plants can be moved from one spot to another to "fill in" the empty spots without creating another "hole".
Make certain that the plant you move will thrive in the new space...water well after transplanting.
Next, cut off the leggy and less filled out bits of your plants, pruning back back to encourage new Spring growth.
Dead head any bloom remains or wilted buds...this will stimulate more blossoms.
Now, if you MUST spend money on your Garden for Spring, buy fresh MULCH and freshen what you already have, making sure to fill in any of the "bald spots" you previously noted.

After you have started doing the basic garden maintenance and establish a routine,  begin a watering schedule.
If you use a sprinkler, or water by hand, try to do so no more than twice a week, unless you have transplants. Transplanted stuff should be watered daily for the first few days, just to help the roots get settled in their new place and prevent shock.
Many people make the mistake of over watering...
This can lead to root rot...fungus in the soil...bacterial growth in the dirt and on the roots, often moving up to the main bits of the plant...and shallow root, which makes the plant less stable in the soil.
It can also encourage the growth of those WEEDS that we all do not love, as most weeds tend to be shallow-rooted, needing water closer to the surface.

So, now you have your Garden ready for Spring and all of the rain and warm Sun that inspire growth and blossoms and beauty !!
Take a few weeks just to enjoy what you already HAVE...
Appreciate the wonder of new growth and FLOWERS, paying close attention to which of your blooms entice the butterflies and the hummingbirds...provide awesome color to your landscape after the grays of Winter...and don't forget...

Early morning or just after sunset...go out to your garden and be still...LISTEN...
And take in a deep breath of the FRAGRANCES of Spring !
Even flowers and plants that are not known for their aromas still give off a scent that I call GREENSCENT.
Take it in...
And remember that your Garden is always a WORK IN Adventure in Creativity...
Enjoy the Journey...

Until next time...

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