With the warm weather we had this past weekend, who wouldn’t be thinking spring and spring flowers and gardens and the like. Thanks to the Billerica Garden Club and guest blogger Annette Presseau for the following:
Ahhhhhh…….March and Spring
I absolutely love this time of year and now that the snow is all gone the weather is just beautiful and the Crocuses, Daffodils and Tulips are just starting to bloom. The Crocuses start then the Daffodils and then the Tulips it’s like a parade! Also, the temperature is around 60 to 70 degrees which is great for working in the yard to clear up any leaves that may have accumulated and to begin cleaning your gardens and getting them ready to plant whatever you dreamed up last month. The rule of thumb that I have always heard from in New England is that you do not plant anything in the ground until Memorial Day. Now just so you know I planted before Memorial Day one year and low and behold we had a frost and I lost most of my flowers so now I wait until Memorial Day to plant flowers. Don’t get me wrong you can put the pots outside but do not plant them in the ground and take them inside if you know that frost is going to happen.
Consider planting native plants in your area this year some native plants are really quite beautiful. Check this website from the University of Texas Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for a Native Plants List and look for your state. http://www.wildflower.org/ Check out this website called Growing The Home Garden it is very interesting and they give a lot of tips on gardening: http://www.growingthehomegarden.com/
Rain Barrels for Garden Water
Did you know that rain barrels are not good to water your plants? Check out this blog on the “Everyday Gardener” it is a very interesting read. The advise that the Everyday Gardener gives is not to use rain barrels to water your plants! http://everydaygardener.com/
What about your lawn?
Check out this cool blog on organic lawn care at http://awaytogarden.com/category/types-of-gardening/lawn-care and it is called A Way To Garden.com. Now would be a good time to aerate your lawn which will take care of any thatch buildup problem. This is the website to look at for the steps to aerate your lawn: http://www.lawncare.net/aerating-the-lawn-in-preparation-for-spring/
How about water conservation?
Here in New England we have not had very much snow and very little rain so it might be a very dry summer so now is a great time to look at water conservation for your garden. Check out the website on water conservation from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority: http://www.mwra.state.ma.us/comsupport/conservation/gardeningtips.htm
Below are some ideas for help with water conservation:
SLOW-DELIVERY WATERING AIDS
Hand-watering plants can mean a lot of repeat trips to the garden, but you can avoid all this fuss, with low-tech, slow-delivery tools like plastic bottles, unglazed flowerpots, or Aqua Spikes. Punch holes in the bottom of plastic milk, water, or soft drink bottles, place them on or in the soil, and fill them with water from your hose as needed. You can use unglazed clay pots in a similar way, but they are very porous so you’ll need to set them down in the soil or the water will just evaporate.
Aqua spikes are a clever invention that you can attach to inverted plastic soda bottles and turn them into handy watering devices. Fill a 2-liter bottle with water, screw on the aqua spike at the cap end, then turn the bottle upside down, and poke the spike into the soil. Each of these low-cost or recycled gadgets send water directly to your plants’ root zones and are especially effective because there’s little or no waste from evaporation or runoff.
Soaker hoses are another great inexpensive way to water your plants. When you keep the water pressure down on these porous hoses, they’ll water evenly with no runoff. A soaker hose delivers water directly to plants’ root zones, so a minimum is lost in the wind or water on wetting the foliage.
DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
Like soaker hoses, drip irrigations systems deliver water to the root zones of plants. Small-diameter tubing and emitters, which are fittings that drip water at an even rate, let you regulate where and how much water to use. You can purchase components at a modest price and assemble your own system.
Whether you use a drip system or soaker hoses to water your plants, a timer can help you to make the best use of your time and water. Timers attach inline with your hose at the spigot and automatically start your watering system during those optimal morning hours while you’re busy getting the kids ready for school or rushing off to work. Timers are available in electric, battery-powered, or manual wind-up models.
Y-connectors make it easy to extend your watering capabilities, letting you reach all your garden beds at once from one spigot, whether you use hoses, drip systems, sprinklers, or a combination. This handy little gadget attaches at the spigot so you run two hoses from the same spot.
If you would like more water saving tips check out this website: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/water-saving-tips-and-garden-gadgets.html
Cutting back grasses in the garden.
Ornamental grasses are quite beautiful and lend quite a hand at making a garden a showplace and are quite beautiful to look at. Even in the winter they add dimension to a landscape. It is best to cut them back before they start to grow in the Spring. Check out this website on when the best time to cut grasses are: http://www.kennedyscountrygardens.com/index.php/garden-info/blog/
Other plants to consider:
What about planting cranberries? How about Limes or Fig Trees or Ginger? Check out this amazing website it is really interesting: http://www.agrowingtradition.com/ Check out Betsy Williams Blog on Herbs and Flowers: http://www.betsywilliams.com/blog you will not be disappointed. Consider growing Garlic this year it is not only a beautiful flower it also repels pests! Check out this blog: http://www.gardeningblog.net/how-to-grow/garlic/
Check out the Victory Garden website: http://www.agrowingtradition.com/
I’ve got a feeling that this one is going to be one of my favorite websites to look at! This is the place to watch gardening tips from the Victory Garden online. This is really cool!
Check out this New England ‘Habitat Gardening’ Blog at http://blog.thbfarm.com/page/2.aspx very interesting blog. You will find a lot of ideas for New England gardening there.
Backyard Garden Forums:
Any gardening questions? Check out the Garden Forum at http://www.gardeningblog.net/forums/forum.php
I’ll leave you with a garden poem by Robert Cording at http://cordinglandscape.com/a-garden-poem/
And I’ll recite the last verse “To make a garden is to honor life and its blessings, to make a garden is to come home”.