Gardening has been a lifelong passion for Wende and she’d like to share her passion with her readers. Follow her as she writes about her gardening adventures, lists tasks to do depending on the season, and gives easy to understand gardening advice.
Now that Spring is here (almost) I'm sure the gardeners reading this are starting to dream of beautiful flowers blooming in their yards. It's also the time for gardening catalogs showing up in mailboxes, sales flyers for Steins and coupons from smaller greenhouses. I always treasure The Gardener's Idea Book from Proven Winners that comes in the mail. I got on their email list a few years ago and they automatically mail it out. http://www.provenwinners.com/ Proven Winners are particularly hardy annuals, perennials and shrubs and are available at several outlets. Their website will search for retailers near you. If you are a beginning gardener, they have lists of the easiest plants to grow and will make you look like a star if you follow their advice and water and feed your plants correctly.
It's time to start some seeds indoors if you are the type that likes to do this. It's not for everyone, but if you have the time it can be really rewarding. I find it really helps pull you out of the winter doldrums most of us gardeners have as it gets us actually "doing" something garden-like instead of just dreaming about it!
Great News! After 20 years, the USDA has updated the Plant Hardiness Zones! Beware, our Zone 4 (or 5 depending on where you live) has now become Zone 5b (-15 to -10F). The new 13 zone map has been brought into the internet age with GIS-based interactive maps and more accurate zones that take into consideration things like elevation, terrain, and closeness to bodies of water. Using a 30 year timespan (unlike the 1990 version that used a 13 yr span), many more weather stations, and expert input from the climatic and horticultural community, the map is much more accurate than it was plus it shows a 5 degree increase (warmer) overall for the US.
Winter in Wisconsin – of course we need to use salt to melt dangerous ice - but salting can be very damaging to many landscape plants and grasses, so please be careful with how much you salt your walks and driveways. Additionally, we can’t control how much salt is applied in the street that sprays up onto your yards. Here’s some good techniques (from the Steins Gardening Calendar) to help avoid plant damage:
Winter is hard to wait out for a gardener, but there are things that you can do now to prepare for the spring planting season...