Spring Gardening Tips

If you have covered your perennials or roses with leaves or flax straw (which is a great winter protection for your plants), now is the time to be taking it away. Do it slowly. Remove it from the area directly around your plants to allow the plants to breathe. Don’t put it too far out of reach as you may have to bring it back as protection if our temperatures drop too far below zero at night. The emerging perennials will be able to endure a lot of cold but remember it’s still too early to be planting out newly purchased perennials. Jensen’s carries some beautiful perennials very hardy to our area. Keep in mind if you really like a perennial, that requires sun, and you have no room left in a sunny spot, all perennials will grow in the shade. They may not grow as large and they may not flower the way they would in sun, or have smaller blooms, but, they WILL grow. Don’t deprive yourself of a “Must-Have” perennial. Give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Also, if there are areas of your garden where the soil needs amending, now is the time to enhance the soil to get the area ready for planting. Drop in for a soil tester to find out if your soil is too acidic or alkaline. In our clay soil, peat moss is a good product to use as to increase the acidity level in our alkaline soil and it also improves the texture and provides for improved drainage. Clay soil tends to be very compact and makes it difficult for roots to grow. Empty the peat moss into a wheelbarrow or muck bucket and add water. Mix it until it is thick and resembles soil and then dig it into the area. It is much easier to work with and it won’t be flying away to your neighbours when you start to dig it in. Compost, mushroom manure and sheep manure are also excellent products to use for soil amendment. If you have an area where your perennials require a lot of acid in the soil and you have evergreens in the yard, save your evergreen clippings and place them around that area.
If your soil is too acid, use a Dolomite Lime to increase the alkaline level. It is more finely ground and will break down faster in the soil.
Also, if you have recently removed an evergreen tree from the yard, that area will need a Lime to enable grass to grow. This is the perfect time of year to get the area ready for seeding as most lawns prefer a soil that is nearly neutral; in the range of a PH level of 6.5 – 7.2 (PH 7.0 is neutral).
The majority of plants grow best in a PH level of 6.5 – 7.2 as well.
Tomatoes enjoy a handful of Dolomite Lime when planting and periodically throughout the grow season to discourage Blossom End Rot (the black end on the Tomato).
Stay tuned next time for more “Spring Gardening Tips”