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Thursday
Mar132014

Spring Cleanup and Startup

Spring is here.

The following are 20 things you should know about spring.

Who's ready for tulips, pansies and Dwarf Fothergilla flowers?

1. March 20th is the first day of spring. Before long the first day of summer (June 20th) will be here!

2. Assess winter damage to plants and the landscape. 

3. Apply pre-emergent to lawns and beds before the forsythia finish blooming.

4. Prune back hydrangeas and roses now. However, other plants are just waking up, so don't do any heavy pruning on other trees and shrubs. Have a certified arborist evaluate your fruit trees.

5. Cut back liriope and perennials. Now is a good time to divide perennials.

6. Watch for settlement from freeze/thaw cycles around new pools and drywells.

7. Review photos from last year's vegetable and annual plantings.

8. Add organic amendments like compost to the soil in early spring.

9. Rotate crops, especially vegetables. Organically add nitrogen back to the soil by planting soy beans or peas.

Contrast bulb flower colors for the biggest bang in the landscape!10. Mulch NOW while the beds are open so you don't have to dance around emerging perennials. Pull back winter compost from tree and shrub root crowns. Avoid mulch volcanoes!

 

11. Plant summer annuals after May 15th (wait for danger of frost to pass). Having a summer party? Plan your annuals now for robust color and lush beds. Get your tubers ready. Dahlias and Canna Lilies are ready to go in soon!

 

12. Monitor your irrigation system. DO NOT overwater. Adjust the watering schedule as summer approaches.

 

13. Experiment with alternatives to impatiens. DO NOT plant Impatiens walleriana! They have a problem with downy mildew all across the United States and they WILL disappoint you. Try something new!

 

 

14. Bring in your bird feeders. Birds have plenty of food now. Clean and store them for next winter.

15. Spray horticultural oil to smother insect egg cases. Check your lawn for divots. Does it look like a really poor golfer has been there? Those holes are from squirrels, raccoons and birds looking for food.

16. Watch for frosty nights and protect newly planted and tender annuals and vegetables.

17. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. They're popping up all over. If you have a small piece of property or too much shade, this is a great way to contribute to a cooperative garden and reap the benefits in fruits, vegetables and friendships.

18. Test your lawn's pH. Let the soil and our trained horticultural experts tell you what it needs.

19. Check the garden shed for old and outdated fertilizers and chemicals. Dispose of them properly.

20. Last, but certainly not least, consult with your favorite landscape designer. Now is a great time to contact us. Or you can call to set up an appointment with Sal Masullo, senior landscape designer, at (631) 271-6460 to discuss your ideas.

Soon pansy faces will great us from pots and daffodil manes from the beds.

Written by Ashley Palko and Sal Masullo