IF YOU PREP IT, THEY WILL GROW!

Daffadoil/JonquilAh…spring!  It’s so nice to finally see you again!  The return of the daffodils and crocuses is a sure sign of warmer days to come, but they are also a reminder that it’s time for rejuvenating, renovating and preparing the garden.  It’s not as much fun as planting herbs, veggies and beautiful annuals, but it will bring great rewards!  Keep in mind that our average LSF (last spring frost) date for Northern Virginia is April 23 and although our days are slowly getting warmer, our nights are still quite chilly. That means you have a few weeks to do the grunt work before safely planting the fun stuff!

Here’s the list:

  1. Pruning  Maintenance pruning is essential for shurbs and trees.  It prevents disease and promotes new growth.  More: Pruning Tips
  2. Weeding – Pull them or kill them but get rid of them ASAP, before they flower and spread their seeds!
  3. Mulching – Spread it to retain moisture, provide stability through extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), and prevent weeds.  Mulch should be 2-3 inches thick.
  4. Cutting- Give all your ornamental grasses and groundcover, such as liriope, a nice haircut for spring.  Don’t be shy- if you haven’t already, cut it all the way back, even if there is already some new growth.

Once you have done the mundane, tedious work, you can reward yourself with safely planting some cold weather crops. Lettuce, spinach, chard, broccoli and cabbage can be planted now. Rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano and parsley are safe bets in the herb category, but please hold off on the basil!  If you are itching for some color in your yard or containers but prefer to avoid the default pansies, many other annuals, including bacopa, nemesia and gerbera daisies, are fine with cool nights but will not be happy in frost. Stick to containers so you can bring them into the garage if needed, or at least be prepared to cover them.

In the perennial category, hosta can be propagated and/or planted. Dianthus and phlox are also safe to go in the ground.

PhloxThe Corner Market will open at 10 AM on April 16th for your spring gardening needs and we can’t wait to see you! http://www.coxfarms.com/corner-market/spring.aspx