Planning to plant and maintaining your plantings are both very important. Plan a specific garden for the amount of sun the site will get, find out what kind of soil you have; fast draining sandy soil or slow draining clay. (It’s easy to get a soil test done thru umass.edu/soiltest, follow the easy directions and send it off.) Look for plants that fit your criteria; shade or part shade moist or dry. You’ll be happier with the results if you choose the right plant for the right place.
Then of course there’s the taking care of your garden(s)! Water, get a rain gauge and check it out. An inch of rain a week is good. Then know what your plants need for water. Newly planted trees and shrubs need to be watered daily for the first week, every other day for the second week and deeply weekly for the first growing season. Unfortunately when you don’t water and it’s as dry as it was here in New England this winter lots of plants just dried up and died. Oh well try again, and don’t forget to water! It’s still a perfect time to divide and transplant many perennials.
Plant spring blooming shrubs now for color and interest early next season, azaleas, pjm rhodies and lilacs if your don’t already have them you must. This year I’ve seen a new dwarf pjm like rhodie, the bloomerang lilac (reblooming)and the daphne ‘Carol Mackie’ and i must just have them all.
Hummingbirds are back in New England now and it’s time for those feeders.Most hummingbird feeders have some red on them to attract the hummers but their nectar does not have to be red. Just 1 cup of water & 1/4 cup of sugar, brought to a boil, then simmered for 5 minutes. Cool and fill your feeder. Change it out weekly if they haven’t gobbled it up.
Remember your lawn does need care but we are over fertilizing and over treating with chemicals as a nation. Check out organic alternatives for lawn maintenence. Better yet, plant a garden or ground covers and reduce the size of your lawn.
I have been eating lettuce from our friend John in Duxbury who does a fabulous job with a raised bed garden. My own lettuce should be edible soon and my sugar snap peas are going great. Plant veggies like broccoli, cabbage and spinach. Try planting some fruit, strawberries and blueberries are easy, taste great and are good for you.
It’s just mid spring here in New England and it is gorgeous. Tulips, narcissi, forget me not, primrose, blooming in abundance. Splashes of color from azaleas and lilacs and leaves of every imanginable shade of green. What a pleasure it is to be out in the garden.
Take advantage of local gardening classes. Most are free. This Sat May 5th at 10am I’m starting my master gardener classes at the Gardeners’ Choice rte 53 Pembroke, Ma. At 10 am on 4 consecutive Saturdays. This weeks class is Garden Trends and new plants for 2012. Fun and informative, join us if you can!
Just a couple of plants to think about; the new wasabi coleus is ruffled and lime green and will look awesome with the new cherry belle calibrachoa, both will flourish in part sun! And the Gardeners’ Choice sells out of Thunbergia. A bright yellow or orange vine that flowers non stop for the whole season!
Hopefully I’ve be back next week and do look for those Baltimore Orioles, I saw my first one today!