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.
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!
Now that February is coming to a close, some shrubs and trees can be pruned. This is an especially good time to do this because the leaves are not in the way and you can see where branches are rubbing on each other and causing weak places where insects and other diseases can get in. Here's information from the Steins Gardening Calendar:
This is from Stein's Gardening Calendar. I plan to try this for my kitty!
There's still time to plant fall bulbs - the ground doesn't really freeze until about Thanksgiving. Water them well and mulch after planting for great results in the spring.
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.
With all this warm weather lately, the plants think Spring is almost here! I noticed buds on trees that are easily seen as I drive by, tulips are trying to poke through the ground, and my parsley is still green and growing in the back yard!
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...
This list is from the calendar that Steins Gardens & Gifts posts online to help remind you of gardening tasks that should be done... Not much to do in December, but these are good suggestions to keep your gardening thinking cap on! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
I look out my front window seething, watching well-fed bunnies happily hopping all around my yard. Don't let them fool you - even though they are fluffy and cute, they are pure evil under all that silky soft fur and innocent demeanor. Just ask Elmer Fudd and his friends – who have hunted and tracked their silly prey for over 70 years. Bugs Bunny is less interested in escape than in driving his pursuer insane and can be heard to say (with casual unconcern), “What’s Up, Doc?”. Well, bunnies, I will hunt you down, trap you all, and get rid of you – for the next 70 years if I have to! You have eaten your last tulip just as it opens up – sawing off the flower stem with a diagonal bite and leaving the flower petals to dry up on the lawn in the spring sun. To use your own catchphrase, "Of course you realize this means war!" This is not fun and games. You seriously have to go.