Well, today I ventured out into the yard to see what kind of damage this winter left us with and even though the calendar says it is spring, it still looks and feels like winter to me. I checked the temperature this morning at 11AM and it was only 38 degrees. BRRRR!!!
I am wondering what’s under the snow and when it will emerge. I did actually see a few exposed areas where there are a few daffodils starting to emerge, and a few shoots of daylilies…I am really trying to be patient and hopefully the TRUE spring will arrive soon.
As for trying to be organized and ahead of the game I have made a TO DO LIST of what needs to be done and to stay ahead of the game. Rumor has it that the temperatures may go up a bit to finally get rid of this remaining snow that is left in our yard and we can venture out to start the clean up.
Branches Are A Helter Skelter Everywhere
Not only do the branches and small limbs need to be picked up around the yard and in the shrubs and trees, but many of the branches on the shrubs and trees themselves need to be carefully pruned and removed. Some of my delicate trees like Japanes Maples suffered from the extreme weight of snow and ice this year. I hope they can be saved. Be careful completing this work because many of the tender branches and limbs are still very brittle with the cold temperatures.
Often the damage to broadleaf evergreens comes from the burning reflection of snow. Fall spraying of these plants with a desiccant or oil spray helps to keep moisture in the leaves. Many of the leaves of azaleas and rhododendrons will curl and turn brown so perhaps think about applying such protection next fall. At least there were many overcast days and the sun damage reflecting off of the snow does not seem to be too bad this year. Also, there was a lot of moisture provided by the snow which now as it melts and the ground warms will help these plant to recuperate.
We all know that deer can wreak severe damage to many of our trees and shrubs to both the leaves and the bark. They do not bite but grab leaves and tear them away. This year was a tough year with all the snow that covered much of the food sources. Still be wary of hungry deer they can still do a lot of damage to new growth and the buds on tender plants including azaleas and rhododendrons. Applying some kind of deer repellent is advisable. Completing a good trimming of damaged brances and stems should help the plants recuperate.
I am not a great fan of using salt on our own property but unfortunately the town used quite a bit on the street and as the snow melts I can see a tremendous amount sprayed across our front lawn. Luckily it is far enough away from our trees and shrubs and did not damage any of the leaves or seem to reach the planting beds themselves. We will need to rake the lawn in the spring and try to remove as much of the salt as we can by raking and really flushing it thru with the sprinkler system. We will ask for advise by our lawn care company as to what to treat it with. One particular way is to use gypsum blended with compost to help improve the soil.
We had to plow lots of paths this year other than those leading to the front door including one to our wood pile, one to the shed, one for our little yorkie, and one for the oil company. Lots of shoveling, as well. Many of these areas crossed over the lawn and we will need to inspect them for damage and perhaps need to do a little top seeding.
Early Spring Color
I am so very anxious to see the first blooms of spring. We have lots and lots of daffodils, jonquils, and hyacinths and this year they will certainly be enjoyed. Beneath some of my early flowering witch hazels near the edge of the woodland I have planted lots of snowdrops in a variety of blues and whites.
Still to Do – Early Spring
Inside I have already started my tomato and pepper seeds and am anxiously watching them start to emerge. There is always a long list of chores to accomplish once spring has arrived.
- I am waiting for right temperatures to spray dormant oil on my fruit trees and delicate ornamentals.
- Clean, organize, sharpen and replenish tools, and purchase lots of gloves
- Replace an old wooden rose arbor with a black steel arbor
- Pick up brush and clean debris, remove compacted leaves around bulbs
- Plan visits to garden centers and garden tours
- Clean outdoor pots, order plants for pots, purchase potting soil
- Have spring maintenance completed for lawn mower
- Check garden for repairs to the fence
- Finalize planting plan for the vegetable garden
- Organize cool weather seeds for direct sowing in a few weeks like lettuce, spinach, and peas