If you’re like me, you are looking out the window thinking the nearly two feet of snow on the ground is beautiful, albeit a bit of a pain in the neck, and knowing it will provide much needed moisture. In some instances, the heavy snow has caused limbs to break or limber branches to bend severely , but generally, we have escaped serious damage. It looks like the sun will shine and temperatures will warm enough to melt the snow on trees, but if it doesn’t within a few days, it is a good idea to help Mother Nature and gently remove excess snow from plants and help them return to their proper form. In years past we did not always remove snow from distressed plants, but we discovered that if their return to a natural shape was too delayed it resulted in permanent changes to structure. Also, if snow shoveling has buried plants (especially evergreens) too deeply it is a good idea to “dig them out” so they can receive oxygen and light in the near term.
With all the snow on the ground, it is easy to forget that this weekend March arrives! The time has come to start venturing out into the garden and landscape once again (that is, once the snow melts and it dries out a bit!). March is a great month to finalize plans for the upcoming season, and to do any soil testing that might be required. As soon as the soil thaws out and dries up, garden beds can be enriched with compost or your favorite soil amendments. Toward the end of the month, winter mulches can be removed from beds and frost-heaved plants can be reset. Summer blooming perennials can be cleaned up and divided later this month, and cold weather veggies (radishes, lettuce, peas, broccoli, etc.) can be started as soil conditions allow. March is a great time to plant deciduous trees and shrubs, so a visit to the local nursery may be in order (and it will help chase away the winter doldrums!). Now, too, is the time to call Greenleaf to get on our schedule, not only for planting but for spring cleanups as well.
The lousy economy and the lousy weather of the past few years have delayed new plantings for many of us. Unfortunately, the same is true for many nurseries—both local and national growers—and as a result of these bad conditions, numerous businesses have closed, nursery crops have been plowed under, and growers have simply stopped planting in many cases. As the economy has strengthened, though, demand for plants has increased greatly, especially in the commercial arena; as a result, nursery shoppers may find shortages of their favorite plants this spring, and/or higher prices. If you anticipate a landscape project this year, we recommend starting early- and remember, our designers are busiest as spring approaches, so call now for an “unhurried” appointment.
The Greenleaf staff has lots of ideas to make your garden and landscape experience more fun, more interesting, easier, and even tastier! Call us today and let us share our love of the outdoors with you!
Contributing editor: Don Archer, Don Archer Designs in partnership with Greenleaf Garden Services