Friday, March 21, 2014


This growing season, 2014 is shaping up to be very challenging in several ways.  The long dry and cold winter has left many of our perennial trees and shrubs in a delicate state.  The fact that we are going into a very long and dry summer only underscores the need for extra plant care this spring.  Deep watering will bring the majority of plants back to life, since we did not get that type of rainfall.  Deep watering also trains the roots to go deeper into the soil which is good in a drought too. 
The next step is to mulch, mulch, mulchThere are so many great materials for mulching, and its not too early to get started.  Straw, wood shavings, leaves, cardboard, newspaper, compost, even pine needles in some cases can all be used for mulch.  Placing a thick layer of mulch around all perennials, between garden beds and anywhere you don't want weeds is a simple process.  Mulch will protect plants from drying out, heat fluxuations and the cold nights we still have in store.  And of course it saves water by reducing evaporation from the soil surface, leaving more moisture for the plants and soil life forms.  If you have questions or want to see some of these mulch types stop by our garden and see how we do it. 
Wood shavings over cardboard
Dry soil can be a weed barrier (think fallow) too 
Compost - always a good choice
Leaf mulch before planting
Straw mulch - overwinter soil protection
Cardboard keeps the weeds down