Let’s Get Gardening: April 2018

All in favor of Spring hurrying up and getting here, raise your hand! OK – for those of you who remember (yes, I’m showing my age here), I just got a picture of the kid in the 1970’s TV show, “Welcome Back, Kotter” who used to raise his hand crazily in class whenever he thought he knew the answer to something. That’s exactly how I feel right now – “Ooh! Ooh! Me, me! I want Spring!!” I don’t know why, but this winter seems to have been a really long one. Rationally, I know it was no longer, and certainly no worse, than many of our winters. But I’m not being rational right now – I WANT SPRING!

Unfortunately, the weather predictors have recently come out with their thoughts on the next few months, and it looks like we’re going to need to rely on early-blooming, cool-weather plants to keep up in color for a little longer than usual this year – if they’re right. They’re saying that April through June will be cooler than usual in Michigan. I really hope they’re wrong!

~Jennifer

 

March Featured Garden Product

Early-Season Flowers

  • Primrose
  • Ranunculus
  • Pansies
  • Violas

All of these early spring plants are a great way to start out the season – they bring a splash of color just as we are all getting anxious for it, after a long drab winter – and they’re all available at The Garden Mill!

 


In this month’s issue of Let’s Get Gardening

The recent rain has left things a bit soggy around here, which means that we really can’t get working in our gardens and yards just yet. Soil compaction happens when we walk on our garden beds and lawns while they are soggy, and that creates a number of issues – compacted soil doesn’t drain well (so it stays wet even longer), it reduces root growth, and it can reduce the roots’ ability to take up water and nutrients. So, stay out of the garden and off the lawn until things dry out a little bit. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do now, and when things dry out, and it warms up a little, there will be even more to do:

Things to do indoors and outdoors this month:

  • Before starting to plant outdoors, test your soil (we have a very easy and reliable testing kit in stock).
  • Take stock of what seeds you have left over from last year to make sure you have what you need for this year, then come in and get whatever you are missing.
  • Start seeds for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant indoors now, and basil at mid-month.
  • Make sure your garden tools are ready for the season.
  • Clean up yard debris – branches that have fallen from trees, leaves still remaining on lawns, driveway gravel plowed onto the lawn, etc. Wait a little bit longer to pull out any dead plants that are still in garden beds, or do it carefully, and don’t burn or remove the debris from your land.
  • It’s usually safe to cut back grasses and most perennials that you left standing over the winter when daytime temperatures are consistently in the 50’s. Wait to cut back semi-woody and woody perennials until the end of the month, then decide how much you want to trim based on where you see new growth, and how you want the plant to appear.
  • If the weather gurus are wrong, and we get a prolonged warm-up this month, pull mulch away from plants that are starting to poke up out of the ground, but be prepared to cover the plants back up if we get a cold snap.
  • Pruning of trees should really be long done by now, with the exception of any broken or damaged branches
  • Towards the end of the month, as new growth is starting, divide summer-blooming perennials that you didn’t get to in the fall (you can divide spring-bloomers, but they may not bloom this spring).
  • Plant dormant trees and shrubs once the soil can be worked.

For the Birds:

  • Clean out birdhouses now, if you haven’t already.
  • If you live near a body of water, and have open land, you have the perfect conditions for a Purple Martin house.
  • If you really want to attract more birds to your bird houses, put out nesting materials.
  • Check the condition of your hummingbird and oriole feeders, and replace as needed.

Store News & Specials:

  • To celebrate the fact that spring will come, all gloves and tools are on sale 10% off through 4/30/18.
  • $10 off $50 coupon

 

Read the April 2018 issue of Let’s Get Gardening