I promise it’s coming. Spring is officially here on the calendar and as hard as it is to believe with this COLD weather, I promise it will feel like it soon. Instead of complaining how cold it is, let’s grab our pen and paper or iPads and get our plans and checklist ready to go!
FREEZE! Wait Just a Moment..
First of all, let’s see what they say will be the last frost. In the Charlotte area, according to NOAA, you need to make it to at least April 11th to escape a 50% chance of frost. April 30th drops you to 10% chance. While I hate waiting as much as anyone, I hate putting plants in the ground and watching my hard work freeze up even more. I’ve long heard from the elders that you shouldn’t put anything in the ground until Mother’s Day and with the way this spring has been, that could be some good advice this year.
Plant annual herbs such as basil after the season’s final frost. Biannuals such as parsley and perennial herbs such as rosemary, chives, thyme and mint can all be planted now. Whether or not you like to use your herbs for cooking, many herbs are natural insect repellents. We have rosemary all over the place as it is a mosquito repellent!
Of Azaleas and Daffodils..
The time to prune your azaleas is just after they bloom. If you wait too long, you will cut off next year’s bloom. Same with your forsythia. Prune soon after flowering to shape or manage the size. And while it may drive you crazy to see the fading leaves of daffodils; do yourself a favor and put those clippers away. It really is necessary to keep the yellowing foliage as long as possible; the leaves are needed to collect food for next year’s nourishment.
Mulch and Needle..
No it’s not a law firm. Now is the time to get rid of all the junk that Winter left behind. Rake out the old pine needles or mulch and give those weeds a good talking to. Unearth and dig around the area and get any fertilizer treatments in there that need time to work. Get rid of the sticks and twigs and if you’re going to lay down plastic, now’s the time. Once you’re finished you can either get rid of the old and bring in the new or let the old be a layer under the new.
Obviously, April is about getting ready to plant more so than actually planting. But we all know how the weather is around our area – it’s cool, cool, kind of warm and then BAM! it’s hot. So take advantage of the cooler weekends, put a plan in place and by June, you’ll have one fabulous looking garden!