Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Gardening: 15 Minutes to a Beautiful Garden

March is a great time for your Midwest garden. The problem is, most gardeners are all caution when it comes to Spring planting, telling you it's too early for your tomatoes.. (Of course it is, silly.)  But tomorrow is the first day of Spring!  So, even if it's only for 15 minutes a day, you can get out and get started.  (You know you want to.) 

The Lawn
Now is the time to reseed the yard, especially if you use a seed product that has crabgrass preventer.  The warm-ish days and plentiful moisture make it perfect for germinating grass, especially if you can manage to keep the kids -- and the dog -- out of the yard for a week or so.  (Rainy, chilly weather can make that easier than you think.  Perfect time for cooking lessons, if you ask me. Mmmm.... soup.)


The Vegetable Patch
There's a reason spring onions have that name.  These are mine.  Looks like a jumble of half-green mess, doesn't it?  Give them a month, and they'll look (and taste!) far different.  Some crops, like Spinach and peas, actually germinate best in cold soil.  So, the freeze/thaw cycle that works its magic on local sugar Maples can be a great sign that the time is nearing to plant.  I usually wait until the tail end of the Maple sugaring season, then get my Spinach and peas in the ground.

The Herb Garden
Love to cook?  Tend to your herbs, especially the ones you planted close to the house or in that magical microclimate close to your furnace vent.  At our place, our parsley and oregano are already showing fresh shoots.  (And yes, I've cooked with them in the past week!)  Cut back woody perennials like sage and rosemary, being sure to save/dry/use what you trim back.

The Flower Beds
Even if you didn't plant bulbs last fall (See, Mom?  My daffodils and tulips really are already out of the ground!) you can plant some bulbs now.  Glads and Asiatic Lilies planted now will provide you with tall, beautiful blooms in June.  Pansies in pots that you can handily pull closer to the house on cold nights can give your front porch early color.  After a long winter, isn't that what every gardener needs?

Whatever little ways you can edge your way out into the garden will help you celebrate the start of Spring.  Because what's better for the soul than nurturing brand new life?  And these tiny jobs -- like planting your peas! -- are perfect for getting your kids into the garden, a little at a time.

Keep in mind that the lovely brown, leafy, grassy mulch you put on your beds last year is a cozy blanket for everything growing.  If you tend your plants, be sure to tuck them in when you're done.  By the time those daffodils bloom, though, you'll be safe to open the garden, with just a turned-over bucket or floating plastic row cover to keep late frost away.

So get out there!  It's the perfect time for a little sunshine.  Soothes the soul.

- Midwest Mom

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk to me.