Spring and Remembering Your Garden

spring1Ok, Ok, so this past weekend was nutso-ville here in Chicago.  The weather literally changed from sun, to wind and rain, to blizzard, and back to eerie sun while being way too cold on Saturday.  Then, Sunday, it was almost 70 degrees.  Luckily, gardens are just as ready as you and I are for the seasons to change.  We all will survive this crazy Spring!magnoliasquill

Despite the ever changing weather, some of my favorite Siberian squill are coloring yards and gardens with a blanket of blue.  I’ve seen many daffodils, hyacinth, magnolia trees, and even a few tulips blooming.

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Surprising to me is, how over the winter, I’ve forgotten what plants are where.  Each morning, I go out and inspect the soil for signs of life.  I’m beginning to see ferns about to come alive and leaves sprouting up.  This is a great time to get to know your plants.  Even if you can’t figure out what is what, observe now to know later.  Take time to divide Summer blooming plants.  Hostas, ferns, geranium, black eyed susans, echinacea, shasta daisy, and the like can all benefit from division after 3 or more years.  It rejuvenates the plant.  Personally, I made some space in my garden by taking out my ever growing sections of orange day lilies.  I left some by my rain barrel, but moved most of the others to the alley (the garbage/recycling area will be lovely come mid summer).

Here’s a little list to accomplish in the coming weeks.

  • Divide summer blooming perennials
  • Even out lumps in the garden with compost
  • Start weeding (things that reseed too much, rhizome spreading plants that need a little control, or bully plants that can take over like yarrow, black eyed susans, and ferns)
  • Plan your veggie plots (remember to rotate crops from last year’s locations)
  • Sow seeds outdoors ( 4 week before last frost items like lettuce, arugula, spinach, dill, radish, sweet peas, clover)
  • Plant a few pansies
  • Look for a few interesting new plants to try this year (new veggies for me- tomatillo and burgundy okra, both I have started indoors)

Happy gardening!

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