Gardening: Early Spring Activities

This has been a cold April and it is still too early to plant most types of seeds – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to do in the garden. This is a great time to work with your soil – acidify it around the roses, blueberries, rhododendrons and other acid-loving plants, turn it over and aerate it. Add compost to it – build it up in places where it has eroded.

This is also a great time to take some photographs – the before pictures you will use to compare with those taken at the end of the growing season.

The Pond in April

The Pond in April

This scene looks pretty baren. The hostas are just beginning to show some leaves. The gooseberry bus is budding. The pond water has recently melted. The wisteria looks hopelessly tangled. It will be amazing to see how this small space is transformed over the next three months.

Tulips and Daffodils

Tulips and Daffodils

Some of the earliest plants to greet us are the bulbs – tulips, daffodils and other types of bulbs that are planted in the Fall. Having some of these provides some early excitement.

A barren corner

A barren corner

This area is completely brown and lifeless in appearance. Who would guess that honeysuckle is going to take over the fence, forsythia is just about to burst out with yellow flowers and zoysia grass will come to life.

Raised Beds

Raised Beds

This is the time to haul bags of soil and fill in areas that need work. A few bags every year pays off after a few years. A garden is not developed in one season – it takes time to determine what grows best and in what locations. This will be for corn this year. Last year this same space was for beans. Beans are nitrogen producers and corn is a heavy feeder so I practice this simple crop rotation – corn and beans swap spaces each year. Of course Thor believes this is to be his space for rolling in the dirt. Part of the preparation is the fences that must go around the young plants to protect them.

A retaining wall

A retaining wall

Walls like this one are easy to build – no mortar needed. The bricks are notched and hold together well. This area lost a lot of soil last year so I decided a wall would help retain the soil better. All those canes will be rasberries. The rasberries began as only two plants – that was two years ago. Look how they have multiplied.

So the early garden is dominated with the colors of the earth – browns of all shades. Spend some time looking at your space while everything is dorment – this is a time to dream…

 

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