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MY GARDEN PATH: Here we go again!

by ELAINE CERNY/Special to The Press
| March 6, 2022 1:00 AM

Believe it or not, it's that time of the year again. “That time” meaning when we're on the cusp of garden season. No, it's not time to plant marigolds, but it is time to start preparations.

First of all, we need to come up with some kind of plan. What are we going to plant and grow this year? Do we have a tree or shrub that needs to be cut down or pruned? Is a new bed going to be dug up and put to use?

That brings me to the March To-Do List.

• Go ahead and rake old leaves, branches, etc., off the lawn.

• As soon as the frost is gone, you can seed any bare spots in the lawn.

• Carefully remove mulch from bulb areas.

• This is a good time to re-pot most house plants.

• Plant both sweet peas and garden peas as soon as the ground thaws.

• Wait until you see growth before pruning your roses.

• If you haven't already ordered any wanted seeds, do it now.

Late February appears to have been the time for pine trees to drop their cones. Driving down the street, you may have noticed lots of them spread on the ground. These are an easily accessed picnic for the squirrels as they usually have to climb the trees for them.

Have you ever noticed the amazing jumping ability of those backyard squirrels? They have often been measured for distance and most can jump 4 feet vertically and 9 feet horizontally! No wonder they're able to reach most bird feeders.

Be thinking about where you may want to plant a new tree or shrub. Arbor Day will arrive in late April. Remember what Confucius said: “The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Now that the days have grown longer, it is a good time to re-pot those African violets and other houseplants. For violets, just take the entire plant out of the pot, loosen up the root system and place into a slightly larger pot. Fill in with new potting soil, water well and you're done. Place in good light and that plant will soon reward you with new growth and blooms. Add bloom fertilizer occasionally.

This has been a strange winter in a lot of ways. Snow was very hit or miss. The temperatures were extra warm at times and we had more than our share of fog. Oh well, it's almost behind us now. Whew.

Be sure to keep those bird feeders full as there's not much available yet when it comes to plants and weeds with seeds, etc.

I don't know about you, but this fits me: Nothing bugs me when I'm in my garden.

• • •

Elaine Cerny has gardened most of her life, starting in 4-H. She has belonged to garden clubs in three states and is currently an active member of the River City Gardeners Club in Post Falls. Her column has appeared in The Press every other Sunday from early March until late October for the past 13 years.

photo

Elaine Cerny