The bright weekend weather had many of us wandering outside, perhaps observing our gardens, longing for the chance to get playing in the dirt..  Well there are some simple things we can do now  to prepare our gardens for their full spring readiness  that will lead to a robust and healthy start to the growing season.

  1. Give your evergreens a lovely watering of Epsom salts. We all know the benefits of a soak in a bath of Epsom salts to a tired and achy body of a gardener, why not consider the same relief for your winter weary evergreens.  Epsom salt  is hydrated magnesium sulfate and both these minor elements are essential components in chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plants green. Over time the levels of naturally occurring magnesium and sulfur in the soil become depleted,  and by watering in 1 tbsp. of Epsom salts in 1 gallon of water at the base of your evergreens will help them green up more efficiently this spring.
  2. Start watering in all perennials, shrubs planted in the 2015 growing season.  Remember how hard your garden continued to work with our mild fall and early winter, well, chances are that those roots are dry down there.  Boost the moisture levels in the root zone by starting to water in last year’s new plantings  – – the same practice is excellent for roses, magnolia, all zone 5 hardy shrubs / perennials such as big leaf hydrangea( the blue mophead varieties), butterfly bush and Rose of Sharon .
  3. Prune out the primal canes from your raspberries. The primalcanes are those canes that bore the fruit the last growing season and they need to go if you wish to have a good harvest of July raspberries this season.
  4. Cut back any of the ornamental grasses that you left in the garden for winter architectural interest to about 2-3 inches above the ground.
  5. Start to pull back the mulch / compost from the base of tender shrubs / perennials to get some sunlight to the crowns of those plants, they will be so glad to feel the warmth of the spring sun!
  6. And most importantly, start stretching!  We may not have been as active as we would like over the winter, and to avoid strains that can keep us out of the garden, start to introduce some morning stretches, so that we, like our gardens , are primed and ready to go when gardening weather officially arrives!