The Waiting Game: Keeping Busy in March and April
Spring has sprung and we are thrilled! We do love crisp, white snow (especially for the protection it gives to perennials), but after three months, enough is enough. It’s time for mud, sightings of red breasted robins and visions of green leaves of bulbs pushing through the soil. Ah, Spring!
Early April is too early to do much in the garden; we need to be careful to not rake aggressively and pull out tender grass shoots or to walk repeatedly and heavily on garden soil, compacting it and eliminating necessary air pockets. As the month progresses and soil dries and warms and grass is thickening and approaching green, you can begin the annual gardening tasks of raking, cutting back perennials and weeding.
Other Spring-time tasks: clean and sharpen tools, plant seeds or tend to seeds already popping out of seed growing soil mix, set out containers and fill them with fresh potting soil. A few of your freshly filled pots can even be planted with a cheery mix of Spring blooms.
Only specific plants can tolerate the inconsistent outdoor temperatures in early Spring. Consider freshening up the look of your front entrance with pots with pretty pansies, English daisies, stocks, ranunculus, ivy and Spring blooming bulbs like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocus. Create some height in these pots with red or yellow dogwood sticks and pussy willow branches. Fun elements such as pin wheels or chicks and bunnies on sticks can be added.
As the weather fluctuates in Early Spring do protect seedlings (outdoors to “harden off”), tropical plants (outdoors to catch some quality sunshine) and even your cool weather plants like pansies. Tropical plants and seedlings should be removed from freezing or near freezing conditions while pansies and other pretty Spring blooms can be covered with light sheets to protect from frosty nights.