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Impatient for spring to start? Gardeners can’t wait to see what comes out of the ground. What will bloom and when? Will leaves bud or is this plant dead? Seasoned gardeners know that patience is a gardener's friend but fret and worry anyway. What to do? Keep busy and watch the garden show unfold. Many surprises to look forward to!
Somebody's uncle once cut the grass with the lawn mower and took out the daffodils.
"Hey! " somebody's aunt cried out from the kitchen window. "You just cut down my daffodils! I've been waiting since last spring to see them again."
"They'll grow back," the uncle calmly yelled over the loud lawn mower.
"Yeah - next year!" cried the aunt.
Waiting to prune may make some bushes and plants look out of control but what a way to celebrate spring. A little overreach is OK. Look for all the pollinators who come to the bushes' flowers. Native bees, small moths and wasps are in action.
Prune spring flowering bushes after they're finished flowering. And don't worry if something in your yard looks dead. Its turn to sprout leaves and flowers may come later in the season.
Cut back to 18” high – Easy-care roses, butterfly bush, russian sage.
Cut back to 6” high - Artemisia, ornamental grasses.
Plant seeds indoors. Make sure they have all day light on a window sill or are under fluorescent lights. Use a seed starting kit or make your own indoor seed starting kit. Buy soil less potting mix. Place soil in clean leftover containers like egg cartons or take-out plastic dishes. Just make sure they're narrow enough for the windowsill. Follow directions on seed packets for how to plant. Water a little when the top soil seems dry. Seed packets tell you when to plant and then transplant to your garden outside. You can transplant outdoors to a cold box or cold frame or wait until the weather is warm enough per your seed packet instructions.
Order mulch or bedding plants from groups or organizations fund raising for their membership activities. They'll appreciate your support.
Read info on plants. What do you want to add to your garden? Magazines, books and online are all good sources of information for growing plants in your area. Many have detailed descriptions of where and how to grow the plants you want. Some may not be suited for your climate, but often you will find a substitute that looks and works well in your area.
Design a new garden space. Maybe you have a part of the yard that would look great with a change. If a large space seems too much to handle, check out containers. They are small and easy to manage. Planning a trio of plants in the thriller(tall), filler (medium height) and spiller(hanging over the pot's edge) design can be a lot of fun.
Figure out how to fix a garden problem. Every garden has too much of something and not enough of something else. Think too much water/not enough water. Low spots/high spots. Too shady/too sunny. What changes can you make to solve the problem? The solutions could be simple or may become a big project. There's a lot of satisfaction in finding a way to make the yard and garden work for you.
Visit local parks, zoos and botanical gardens. They create colorful displays inside and out. Many feature native plants for your area. Look for wildflowers on a hike. Look for classes and workshops offered by botanical gardens and garden stores during late winter and early spring.
See what's new at garden stores. New plants are for sale and are often sold in time with their blooming season. You see how the plant looks in bloom. Often they are ahead of the season with plants that will bloom and thrive in the next month.
Find best times to visit gardens. You'll be surprised at how many local gardens including home garden tours are open to the public. Start researching now and plan a vacation around an out of town garden tour.
Try new ideas in your garden. After visiting gardens or taking a class, try out an idea in your own garden.
Late winter weather can lull you into thinking you have plenty of time to get everything done. Check the calendar! There's really little time before the serious gardening season begins. Keep it simple. Pick a few things to do. When warm weather finally arrives gardening and other spring events will keep you busy. Take time to enjoy them all!