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FINALLY! The wonderful and most awaited time of year has arrived. You know: that time of year when a handful of plants are just beginning to peek out of the earth and show that life still exists after winter. I am finally able to get outside and start uncovering my yard, waking it up from its (sometimes too long) winter slumber.
This winter has been a long one here at The Gray Boxwood Farm. The endurance of winter has left me with some delay starting my spring work around the gardens. But alas, the work does not disappear and must be done regardless. Let’s be honest: I think most of us seek a gorgeously cultivated yard. But as we all know, not only is a beautiful yard a lot of work, it takes years to get to the point where your vision becomes a reality. Thankfully it is the waiting that I, and you (with time) have learned to love. There comes a time when you realize that what you have been planting, trimming, watering, fertilizing, and building is starting to shape into your dream!
I am never satisfied with my yard and am always seeking new items and larger flower beds. In essence, I’ve creating a monster-sized amount of work. Or if you look at it another way, a lifetime of garden therapy. Spring is a crucial time depending on what you have or want to have in your yard.
Here is a checklist of where to get started this spring:
TRIM FRUIT TREES & GRAPES
I have a small orchard with apples, grapes, pears, apricots, cherries, and peaches. The old rule is to trim your fruit trees on the coldest day of the winter. Not surprisingly, I never can seem to convince myself to leave the fireside and hot coffee to do this. Thankfully, this long winter has given me extra leeway to finish trimming my trees. I’m sure I won’t get this lucky every year! Remember that to have a good fruit crop, it is crucial to trim your trees correctly!
For more information on training and pruning fruit trees, check out this helpful resource.
CUT OFF ORNAMENTAL GRASSES
Ornamental grasses are a wonderful method to add drama and height to any garden when on a budget. What many don’t realize is the work that they require. Once established, certain varieties can become very large. Each winter, they must be cut to the ground so the new leaves can emerge in the spring. Personally, I like to burn the stalks once I have cut down the grasses. But make sure to use caution!
BURN OFF ASPARAGUS BEDS
I love asparagus and am lucky to have a very fruitful bed of the vegetable. Before new shoots emerge, it is important to burn off your asparagus beds. The plants will burn easily after drying over winter. Additionally, make sure to cut off any remaining stalks at ground level.
Asparagus is a perennial. Unlike other vegetables that must be planted each year, asparagus comes back from season to season. This is why the additional step of burning the asparagus beds is needed.
TILL VEGETABLE BEDS
Before I can even begin to plant anything, the vegetable beds must be tilled after a winter of snow and settling ground. Lightly till and fertilize your beds with compost to prepare for fresh spring plantings. As you may recall, I moved my garden last fall and am starting in a new area. This will require extra tilling!
If you do not currently have a garden and are planning on beginning one this spring, be aware that the first tilling will be time consuming. Take comfort in the fact that in future years, tilling will be less tedious.
UNCOVER AND CLEAN PERENNIAL BEDS
After months of howling winds, leaves and sticks will need to be cleaned out of your perennial beds for an optimal growing season. Uncovering is not just for superficial looks, but will aid plants trying to emerge from hibernation. Yard debris can obstruct the plants from growing, so make to sure to be careful when clearing your beds. The last thing you want to do is damage any prior season’s plantings.
Spring is a wonderful time of rebirth but also a time of much work around any yard. Making a list is crucial! But don’t just make a list and stash it away. Always keep notes from year to year as reminders of what went well and what went…not so well. Putting in the extra time to develop your yard will give years of gorgeous plants and succulent gardens to enjoy!
Images by The Gray Boxwood[divider]