What's Coming Up 212: Beautiful quiz, wisteria pruned, plus rabbits, snowshoes, fertilizer calculator, exercise and instant answers

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Spring's beauty is sometimes very fleeting. Get out there, don't miss any of it! 

March 29, 2014

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Cool day, go out anyway

It was a fine day, sunny and calm and 30°F. A massive, tangled wisteria jungle on a big pergola awaited us. We were four gardeners, we aimed to get 'er done and we tamed that beast!

The yard was awash but we needed to reach the burning bushes we planned to cut back, before they leaf out. We broke out the snowshoes!

The moral of the story: Spring doesn't wait. Don't delay, get out there.

In Aiming for Answers, it's Finally Spring:
Admiring spring

Janet basically threw herself on the ground last weekend to admire a daffodil about 3/8-inch out of the ground. Don't get so carried away as she did but don't miss the show, either. It's going to come very fast, now that some plants are a month behind... plants that make a habit of leaping out of the ground even in a normal year. Take a look at some beautiful spring signs.

Wisteria pruning

Four of us tackled four wisteria vines that had accumulated excess wood a little at a time over their 20 year reign. We sorted out the main trunks, sawed off branches that had strayed beyond bounds, and clipped off thin unbranched vines. We took off enough wood to pack a pick-up truck twice over and called it a day. Take a look!

Cutting to remove winter damage: Holly, Japanese maple

Where you see damage, better to prune sooner than later. How to know what's damaged, how much to cut when you find it. We use evergreen holly as an example (Ilex x meserveae), and breathe a sigh of relief that Japanese maples are not examples, this spring.

Wascally wabbits beat us to the punch

Danged rabbits! We'd planned to reduce the size of these shrubs anyway, but had to cut back even harder than we wanted. See it, and be prepared.

Snowshoes save the day

We have to stay off the wet ground, since our tread there is enough to ruin soil condition for years. Yet the work has to get done and there are just so many days available. We can place planks and walk there but snowshoes allow so much more freedom of movement, and might spread our weight even better than a boardwalk. No kidding, take a look.

Buying fertilizer

It's just about time to spread slow release organic materials on beds so they'll be there for fungi, bacteria and other living things in the soil to consume them as things warm up. That will change the nutrients into forms the plants can absorb and put to good use during spring's growth surge. If you're like most people, you'll buy too little and fail to spread it generously enough. Check our chart.

Breaking in new boots, and into activity once again

Whether you go out to rake, pick up sticks, clean up after the pets or prune out what winter killed, treat your own self like we're treating out new boots. Take it a little at a time and as soon as you can feel the strain, take a break. More about this. 

Instant answer day: Advice in 140 characters or less

On Saturday, April 26 from 10 to 3 we'll be providing instant answers on our Forum. We hope you will come help, or spread the word to those who want answers right away to yard work mysteries such as, "What is this?!" "Can I cut this down?" and "Is this a weed, or what?" All the details.
















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