With the nice weather arriving daily, it's impossible to stay inside! It's always beneficial to clean up our yards and gardens before planting a new crop of flowers. I will list a few tips we recommend doing to maximize your summer blooming.
Perennials will start appearing daily now. We have had a good amount of rain and now with some nice, warm sunshine our perennials have started to emerge from the ground. Most grasses, bushes and trees can be just left to bloom. It's important not to trim off the first bud and bloom on those. Fall is a good time to cut back. Bushes and trees are good to cut and shape after the first initial bloom.
Early spring is a good time to split or move some of your perennials such as hostas. The roots will establish quickly in their new location.
Prepare your gardens by raking any old leaves or dead flowers from the previous year. We always recommend mixing in some fresh soil for added nutrients. Compost and manures can be mixed in very early, but depending on the type you are using it may be a bit powerful for some sensitive annuals. Most perennials can withstand it and also benefit, but sometimes we find something such as an impatien or begonia might be stunted by a strong fertilizer or manure, so in your annual gardens it's a great idea to mix that in in the fall and let it sit over the winter OR get it in very early spring and mix it well.
Pots and planters should be refreshed as well. Same rule goes for fertilizers and manures. It is really only necessary to replace the top 6-8" of old soil. Mix it up really well and you are ready for planting.
I know we are all anxious to get our flowers and veggies planted, but it's still very early! A frost will damage or kill a flower in just one night, so if you just can't wait until the end of May, please keep an eye on the weather. If there is a chance of frost be sure to bring baskets inside or cover them with a frost protecting sheet or plastic. Flowers with watery stems or delicate things like potato vine will be lost even if covered, so we urge you to be patient.
We recommend getting baskets and planters around the Mother's Day weekend, not only are they a wonderful gift, but it's easy enough to bring inside. Enjoy being outside now and remember we can always help you with what to plant!