Thursday, March 14, 2013

March Gardening

I can’t believe it’s March already- my hibernation ended last weekend, for the most part, as I headed out into my backyard and began some garden chores to prepare for spring.  Next thing you know, it’ll be time to mow the yard and plant a few annuals.

The first task I tackled was to trim back my Knockout Roses.  Last year, though beautiful to look at, the rose bush had grown large enough to make it extremely annoying and prickly to mow around the bush.  Since it wasn’t too cold on Saturday afternoon, trimmed them back by going to the joint of the limb and making a clean cut, not flush against the plant, but not torn.  I have two rose bushes which need to be trimmed, one needs to be transplanted, but think I’ll wait on that.

Crocus Blooms
(C) Allen Pearson
Another task I will do this month and early March is to clean up the backyard.   Between my dog who loves to play with sticks and the storms over the past few months, I have left sticks and brush debris strewn throughout the yard.  Having a big dog who thinks every stick is a toy and must destroy it into 20 bazillion pieces probably makes it seem like I have more sticks than I actually do!  I’ll rake these up and clean up any dead lawn debris.   I won’t do any lawn repair because it’s best to do that in the fall.  And, with a big dog who likes to run, play and dig, there’s probably not much point in doing this anyway.

Every March, no later than the first day of spring, I trim back all of my butterfly bushes.  I trim these back to around 3 feet from the ground.  The bushes will grow quickly by June and have some beautiful blooms.   If I miss a year, for whatever reason, it becomes a huge task the following year so I try to do this every spring. 

What I call, “Garden Spring Cleaning” will start pretty soon too.  Since I love to feed the birds and have quite a bit a few Daisies, Black-Eyed Susans, and the occasional sunflowers, I leave the spring-summer’s growth through the fall and winter months.  The birds can nibble on the thistle and other seeds throughout the cold months.  Then, in late winter-early spring, I go out and cut the plants back.  And, I have to admit that I don’t like the fall weather coming in, meaning summer and its fun are fading away, so I have a hard time going out to clean up the garden.  By the time late winter arrives, or early spring, what was cold weather isn’t as cold anymore – so, time to clean up the yard.

Oh, and of course, my buddy Noah will be joining me again this year.  Wonder what he’ll get into this season!!  Which reminds me, if you have a dog like I have that wants to garden with you, remember to keep their safety in mind.   Noah likes to get into plastic bags and rip them to shreds.  This year, I purposely placed the trash bag with the branches from the rose bushes out of his reach!!

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