Few days go by that I don’t read an article, see a story on the news, or hear someone talk about being bored at being at home so much. Intellectually, I understand, but as a practical matter, I don’t. Perhaps it is because I have so many time-consuming interests. If you are a gardener, at this time of the year especially, you are anything but bored.
If you are a serious gardener, as I am, and if you have a larger gardening area than most, as I do, then the situation is compounded exponentially. But any gardener is busy in spring. Everything happens at once. Trees, shrubs, perennials, and weeds all converge at the same time.
Minimally, plants must be purchased and planted to fill the containers and empty spaces that you normally have each year depending on your specific needs. If you have even a few perennials such as salvias, daylilies, irises, and the like, you will have cleaning up last year’s leaves and stalks to do if you did not accomplish it last fall or winter. Occasionally you will have to dig them up and divide them to keep them blooming well and prevent them from spreading more than you may want.
Then there is pruning. Boxwoods, hollies, roses, and many other shrubs require pruning from their initial flush of lush spring growth. When we have severe early fall freezes as last fall and severe late freezes as this year, there may be extra pruning of dead wood to be done. Such is the case in my gardens. All my six crape myrtles and all my five chaste trees suffered some damage that requires much careful and sometimes tedious pruning. A few had all branches killed outright, but all are root hardy and have put up new replacement stems.
If you have cool weather lawn grass such as tall fescue, it is in its spring spurt of growth. I’ve been mowing and edging mine every five days since the beginning of April. I’m glad I only fertilized once last year! This is testimony to my lawn management practices of not catching the clippings, mowing high, watering deeply and infrequently, and fertilizing very little – once a year, if that.
Much of spring requires triaging to decide priorities. This year was worse for me due to shoulder surgery on St. Patrick’s Day which made me a one-armed gardener for weeks before gradually beginning to get the use of the injured arm.
And, I haven’t mentioned weeding, mulching, amending soil, and other tasks that must be done periodically. I weeded a lot when my arm was still in a sling. Fortunately, my lawn needs no weeding attention to speak of so garden beds are the concern. Weed management is over now except for ongoing vigilance to get any new ones while they are still small and easy to pull.
Notice that I’ve not discussed playing golf or any of my other interests. Bored? Not a chance.
Author: ” — www.heralddemocrat.com ”