Gardening can be so much fun this time of year. The key to making it fun is to pace yourself – starting soon and doing a little at a time, rather than waiting and then being inundated with too much to do all at once.
Except for formal shrubs, which get sheared, shrubs respond best to loppers; use this tool to cut some of the oldest stems, which no longer flower well, right down to the ground.
If you’ve enriched your soil over the years by digging in or mulching with plenty of organic materials, such as compost and leaves, your soil likely has plenty of nutrients. Otherwise, spread some organic or synthetic fertilizer over planted areas according to rates specified on the package.
If you’ve mulched any area where you plan to plant vegetables or annual flowers, remove that mulch now so that the ground gets warmed by exposure to the sun. Put it back in place to conserve soil moisture after warm weather settles in.
Who can resist the lure of all those colorful flowers and potted plants offered for sale in spring. Do try to keep your wits about you, making sure the site is suitable for any plants you set in the ground – and envisioning the woody plants you may see there after 20 or more years of growth.