Gardening: Listening to Mother Nature a good plan

Lake Country garden coach Elke Lange with some helpful hints

By Elke Lange

With April now here we have finally arrived on the other side of winter.

Mind you, don’t let April fool you into being too overzealous just yet, rolling up your sleeves to dig up you garden.

Before you start seriously heading into the garden let Mother Nature be your guide on when and what to do.

Many successful gardeners take note on what is going on around them naturally in the landscape as reference to what needs doing.

They may be old wives tales but here are a few hints on what to do and when to do it. When the soil thaws and dries it’s time to plant radishes and spinach. When the forsythia blooms it’s time to start pruning your roses. When the crocus begin to bloom it’s time to plant seeds for almost all plants that can withstand frost such as rhubarb, lettuce and cabbage type plants. When you can hear peepers peep (Pseudacris crucifer, tiny frogs) it’s time to get those peas planted.

What I have always enjoyed doing in the first weeks of April is to start visiting our local nurseries and greenhouses. These outings always inspire me to become creative in my own garden by seeking out some of the new plant cultivars.

If you are really dying to roll up your sleeves and get dirty, early April, as the soil warms, is the perfect time to start planting those trees and shrubs you have on your wish list.

When planting your trees and shrubs remember to dig a big enough hole to accommodate new healthy root growth. Creating a hole twice the size of the rootball is generally recommended. I usually back fill with the existing soil providing it’s not just pure clay, sand or too gravely and adding bone meal is always a good idea.

Elke Lange is a gardening coach. You can find her at the Kel-Lake Greenhouse in Lake Country or on the web at elkelandscapingcoach.com

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