Lyn Chimera is a Master Gardener, consultant and lecturer.
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Dear Gardening Friends,
I hope you are all staying safe and healthy. During these challenging and difficult times, I am so grateful to have a garden. Even though it’s early and the soil is too wet for many garden chores, I can walk around on the paths and see how things are coming up and have a respite from the outside world. Spring is a time for hope and new life, and we must focus on the fact that we will get through this just like our gardens come back every spring.
Patience is still the word for this spring. Keep in mind it is just the beginning of April even though some of these warm sunny spring days makes it feel like it’s already May. There are many things you can do now that you have the time to prepare for when the garden is in full swing.
- Taking care of your tools is always a good thing to do. Clean, get rid of the rust (I use steel wool) and sharpen your tools. You can even sharpen your shovels. Any blade sharpening tool will work. You can get special sharpeners for pruners and smaller tools. Wooden tool handles can be cleaned with soapy water and a brush. Let dry well then sand down any rough spots and treat with linseed oil. After the shovel has been cleaned and rust removed treat with any oil you have. This coats the blade and helps prevent the spread of rust. You’ll have the best tools in town!
- Clean out containers. Brush off old dirt (I use an old toilet brush) and scrub off the white residue that may be on the outside. Steel wool or a wire brush works for this. Then dip the pot in a 10% Clorox solution. If the container is too are to dip the solution can be sprayed on.
- Start some vegetable, annual or perennial seeds. If you’ve never done this there are lots of directions online. It might be a good year to start a vegetable garden if you have the right site.
- This is a great time to rejuvenate your houseplants. Trim off older or withered leaves and prune for shape if necessary. If the plant has been in the same pot repot it to a larger pot or trim back the roots if you want to keep it in the same size pot. Give your plants a shower getting the spray on the undersides of the leaves as well as the tops. If the plant is too large to move, you can wipe off the leaves with a soft sponge. It’s a perfect time to start cuttings from houseplants also.
- There are probably many weeds that can be reached without walking in the garden beds. Removing weeds always makes you feel better!
- It’s still a good time to prune. Look on line for specific directions on how to prune a particular plant.
- As you observe your garden coming back to life take some notes as to what needs to be done: moving, dividing, removing and planning additions and improvements. I am available for phone consultations but am sheltering in place as advised. Please call or email if you have any questions or concerns. As for my annual plant sale I will just have to wait and see how things are going. I will have plants to sell but may have to do it without a big one-day sale.
Meanwhile stay safe and be healthy!!!!