A Season of Renewal - Spring Gardening Tasks

By Kathy Jentz, Editor & Publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine

Stay tuned for part two of Kathy's blog post tomorrow! You can also learn more tonight at 7pm when Kathy visits AWS to share tips on preparing your garden for spring. 
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Early spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. April is the perfect month for trimming and tidying your yard. Bulbs are just starting to open, trees are leafing out, and flower buds are swelling up to open in the sweet, warm sun. You can see the garden coming to life and your hard work brings instant rewards.

When just getting started on your outdoor chores, take it easy on yourself. Ease into it with just an hour of weeding or pruning for the first few days, then gradually build up to longer work periods. Diving into a full day of earth-moving may be more than your back, shoulders, and arms can handle in your first weekend out there.

Next take stock of your garden. Do a walk around to see what has returned from last year and what needs replacing. Look for early signs of disease, fungus, or insect damage. Should you find anything abnormal, check in with your local master gardeners for a diagnosis and an action plan.

Evaluate where there are garden beds that are too sparse versus those that are over-crowded. This is the ideal time for dividing perennials and for moving them. If your garden plantings are over three years old, they are probably due for some selective editing and revamping.

If you have not done so already, cut back your ornamental grasses. Use hand pruners for small clumps. On low-growing grasses that form a path border, such as liriope, I use handheld grass shears. For larger clumps of grass, tie the old growth with twine and cut the grass about five inches from the ground using a hedge trimmer. Compost the old growth. Look for the new, green growth to appear in the coming weeks.

Have any roses in your garden? If so, April is a great time to give them a good pruning. If not, why not? They are much easier care than you’ve been led to believe. The new varieties are extremely hardy, disease-resistant, and low-maintenance. Look for names like Moondance, Knock Out, and Meidiland. These award-winners are favorites of both experienced and novice rosarians. Early spring is the best time to purchase and plant a rose to give it a good start before the heat of our DC-area summers settles in.

About the Author
Kathy Jentz is editor/publisher of Washington Gardener magazine. Washington Gardener magazine, is a new gardening publication published specifically for the local metro area — zones 6-7 — Washington DC and its suburbs.

The magazine is written entirely by local area gardeners. They have real-world knowledge and practical advice with the same problems you experience in your own gardens. They share their thoughts on what to plant in deep shade, how to cover bare spots, which annuals work best throughout the humid DC summers, and much more. If you are a DC area gardener, you’ll love Washington Gardener magazine!

The magazine is published six times per year with a cover price of $4.99. A year’s subscription is $20.00. To subscribe to the magazine: Send a check/money order for $20.00 payable to “Washington Gardener” magazine to: Washington Gardener, 826 Philadelphia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910 OR to pay via Paypal/credit card click on the “subscribe” link at www.WashingtonGardener.com.

Washington Gardener magazine also makes a great gift for the gardeners and new home owners in your life.

 

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