Sunday, April 14, 2013

Things To Do When Spring Has Not Sprung

We are playing a waiting game, but there are many tasks we can do while waiting for the weather to catch up with the calendar.

Prune the roses and feed them.

Lay the mulch and cut down all of the dead foliage.

Feed the acid loving plants and sprinkle a general fertilizer throughout the rest of the garden.  I have found that this doesn't have to be a major chore, I just pretend I am feeding the chickens!  For specific acid loving plants and my clematis I work a small amount into the soil around the roots.

Clematis and grape hyacinth against south side
Clematis Bourbon (type 2) that you don't cut down, trim lightly

Turn over the vegetable garden, work in a slow release fertilizer like Osmocote and plant the cool weather veggies, like lettuce, radishes spinach, onions, etc.

Trim the hydrangeas that bloom on old and new wood in the shape of an ice cream cone for overall blooms from bottom to top.  I have learned to leave Endless Summer alone, no trimming except what is dead when it begins to leaf out and fertilize very sparingly because it is nitrogen sensitive.  Too much nitrogen and it will produce more leaves than flowers.

Hydrangea Limelight
The grasses can be trimmed to about six inches high, do not shave them or the crown can be damaged.  I have learned not to fertilize grasses as they tend to grow excessively and become floppy.

Heucheras can look pretty bad this time of year.  Trim off all of the shriveled leaves and make sure the roots have not heaved out of the ground, gently push back down if this has happened.

Get the containers ready, replace potting soil where necessary, add water crystals towards the bottom of the pots.  I had a great suggestion from a fellow blogger to line hayracks with plastic bags and put holes all around one inch down from the top for excess water.  I am definitely going to try this for the summer as my baskets always dry out quickly.