Gardening Tips for Drought

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Here are some tips to help your plants survive during a season such as last summer’s drought:

  1. Use native plants, trees and shrubs that adapt well to this area.
  2. Place plants with similar light and water requirements together in the flower beds.
  3. Dig in organic matter such as, compost, manure, or rotting leaves.
  4. Put plants needing lots of water, near a downspout, near drainage areas that are low-lying, or in the shade of other plants.
  5. Do your watering early in the morning for the most benefit and most efficient use.  Watering later in the day during warm or hot weather leads to quicker evaporation.
  6. Conserve water, and help plants survive by using soaker hoses, or drip irrigation.  Overhead sprays tend to evaporate, and miss areas that need watering.
  7. Mulch with 2 to 3 inches of organic bark chips,  or shredded leaves to conserve soil moisture and reduce weeds.

Spring is almost Here!

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It’s late February, and there is still some snow on the ground. However, it feels like spring in the Boston area is already here; with the mid-70 degree weather. It won’t be a surprise if we have another snow storm, but in the meantime, here are some garden related tasks that can be taken care of during early March.

MARCH TASKS

• If you haven’t cleaned your outdoor planters, scrub and sterilize them now with a solution of 1 part bleach mixed with 9 parts water. Then rinse them thoroughly with clean water.

Gardening tools that haven’t been cleaned can be washed and sterilized with this bleach/water solution, or with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol.

Get your pruning tools, spades, garden bed edger and mower blades sharpened if needed.

Get your lawn mower and other garden equipment tuned-up.

Draw up a plan for your vegetable garden so that this year’s crops will be rotated and not planted in the same place as last year.

Contact gardening and lawn care professionals to get scheduled into their calendar as spring is a busy season for them.

Join a garden club or take a gardening class to get new ideas and meet other gardeners.

Garden tasks for March

Spring bulbs

Ha! Too much snow in New England this second day in March to begin any of the tasks I’ve listed in this blog post.

However, if you want to know the weather in New England, wait five minutes. Or, wait a couple of weeks and hopefully, the snow will have melted and the Hellebore’s and spring bulbs will be able to poke up through the ground.

• Pots used for planting need to be free of mold and fungus. If you didn’t clean your pots in the fall, soak and sterilize them for 10 minutes in 1 part bleach mixed into 9 parts water. Scrub them inside and out until they are clean, and then rinse them thoroughly with water.

• Gardening tools that haven’t been cleaned can be washed and sterilized with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol. And oiled with WD-40.

• Sharpen your pruning tools, shovel blades, garden bed edger’s and mower blades with a # 10 mill bastard file, or take them to a professional tool sharpener. You can purchase the metal file from your local hardware store or woodworking shop.

• Get your lawn mower and other garden equipment tuned-up.

• Fertilize shrubs and trees with organic fertilizer. Use Holly Tone for acidic loving plants, Plant Tone for alkaline loving plants and Rose Tone for roses.

• Remove winter mulch when the soil has thawed from winter cold. Apply, and dig in a two to three inch layer of compost to your perennial and shrub garden beds to amend the soil.

• Schedule appointments for professional lawn and garden services for spring garden clean ups.

• Join a garden club or take a gardening class to get new ideas and meet other gardeners.