Week 2 – Spring Cleaning

 Rob instucting the apprentices Cutting back dead perennial stalks

  What a gorgeous day for the new apprentices to start their year gardening with Rob. If you haven’t already started, it’s time to get out and clean up the garden. It’s time to cut back perennials so the new growth can get some sun. New growth is starting to pop up all over the garden.

If you have new growth sprouting up around the old perennials flower stalks cut them back to the ground.  This will allow the sun to reach the new growth.  If you have bushy perennials like lavender, thyme, or some of the clematis or ivy, just prune them up and cut off any dead ends and reshape them. 

It might not be quite time to prune the roses or flowering shrubs.  Roses – look for the stems to start turning green.  If the stems aren’t turning green yet, wait a couple of weeks to start pruning them.  Flowering shrubs – some flowering shrubs like lilacs won’t bloom if you prune them.  Wait until the blooms are gone and then you have a short window to prune them but NOT NOW.

Don’t be too clean.  Old leaves and some of the chopped up dead stalks will make some good mulch to prevent weeds and help retain moisture.  Cut up some of the smaller stuff and leave it in the garden and put the big stuff in the compost pile.  Use this in lieu of dumping a lot of wood chips in the garden.  The dead stalks and leaves will be worked into the soil and provide nutrients.

While you’re cutting back the dead stalks you might find some seed pods.  If you would like to, scatter the seeds like they would fall out of the plant or take some to another part of the garden where you would like the seed to start and scatter it randomly (or orderly, whatever your preference).

Right now the soil is very moist so make sure you don’t walk or press down with your hands.  Compacted soil turns into clay and no one wants to garden in clay more than we already do.

Tools we used today were pruners, gloves and kneeling pads. 

Happy Gardening!!

To see today’s segment, please visit: http://www.9news.com/rss/story.aspx?storyid=323580

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About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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