Once I find a fair day to get out and do cleanup outdoors, I will be cutting back any of the winterkill, dead slimy gunk from hostas, all the wayward, millions of billions of willow leaves (dear god I would never plant one of these giants!). I also trim my buddleias back to 1/3 of their original size. Monarda, I will divide every 2nd year. This is my first spring here, having planted these last fall, I won’t be doing that this year. Keep an eye on your monarda. It’s a wild thing, but it doesn’t do well containerized for me. In my last home, I kept it potted up in a 1-2 gallon pot. The poor thing languished and got itself sick with powdery mildew. I sprung it free and it thrived. But be careful. It needs to be a controlled thrive. I won’t discount the chance of re-containerizing it again.
I have some rugosa roses that I will look over for winterkill and, since this one is somewhat left to its own devices over the last year or so, I will be doing a little rejuvenation, pruning 1/3 of the weakest and oldest canes. Rugosas are tough! But I want it to look its best. I will also be trying the epsom salts trick to see if they benefit at all. I’ve never tried it. We took a walk to the very back of the property where the old river is (basically it’s a grassy bank where water has been flowing in winter and spring). It’s crawling with Rosa multiflora. Another one I will need to clear out to a controllable level. If you do any work with wreaths, you’ll know these are a GREAT asset, but they are invasive, and can’t help but reach for you. Keep those under control if you have them. You’ll know when you miss trimming one.
Once Spring rolls around, I will be doing some conifer cleanup, by slapping on some gloves and gently combing through my cedars to pull out all those dead brown pieces. Don’t do it bare handed! They really do look a lot better after some gentle combing and caressing. It’s these small, detailed things that might make a difference, you don’t need all that brown stuff calling out to garden visitors that your cedar’s “all dead and brown.” No it isn’t! It’s just those little broken pieces. Give it some love, too! Put on your music and start combing.
March is really just cleaning and tugging and wandering and observing. This is the first time I’ve seen this garden in march. I know I’ve got my work cut out for me this month with weeding and cleaning. I had a bit of a horror moment as I, for the very first time in my life, dug into the horrific mat that is GOUTWEED. I’ll be tackling that ASAP, and record my progress of what works and what won’t. Sometimes I look around this place and think I’ve got more than my own share of work cut out for me, but remind myself, I do it like any other large task. One bed at a time.
For most people, a good general rule on what to do in march is walk your gardens, look things over for death and breaks. Clean the spent stalks, old flower heads that entertained your snow, gucky leaves and pull a few weeds, if the soil is soft enough. It will be a good idea when you find double the weeds in may.
And below you will find a list of my seeding projects for mid-late march:
March 15th – I will also be doing my tomato seeding. I have a lot of tomato seeds that I’ve accumulated over the years. I also belong to a wonderful local garden club, and I will be sowing every last suffering seed, and donating many of my seedlings to their annual plant sale. The rest? Oh ho! We will be making a gigantic batch of salsa, as I have never been able to find a commercial one that compares to this!
My cold frame is almost finished! It just needs soil. Once I get it filled with soil, I will be sowing directly into this garden for lettuce, carrots, spinach, and radishes. In the mean time, I will be sowing others like Kale, broccoli and cauliflower inside so it will be a little more established once it gets planted.
On March 20th and shortly after, I am planning the following seedings: Alyssum, Pansy ‘Sizzle Frizzle’, and hopefully in the cold frame, more vegetables: Turnips, Spinach, radishes.
Hopefully the week is fair! We had another snowfall, but between saturday and today, it’s all just a memory. Next week I’ll talk about all of my gardens and structures, get you a little excited about the things to come. Apologies in advance for the state of things… just little green noses poking out of the snow melt muck!