The Bruce Company Blog
The ups and downs of this spring’s weather has us all reeling. One day it’s sunny and 70 degrees and we are over the moon, popping in pansies and wondering when the tomato plants will be ready. The next temps barely make it to a drizzly 50 and we’re back in the doldrums.
No matter how long the winter actually is, it always takes forever to end and now that it seems spring has finally sprung, gardeners will be making their lists and checking them twice. Since the outdoor chores that must be done conflict with more pleasurable activities, it may be hard to know where to start.
First things first. Make sure that you have the proper tools for specific jobs and that they’re sharp and in good working order. Bypass hand pruners and secateurs are best for branches that are ¾-inch or less in diameter. If the branches are bigger, up to 2 inches, it’s time to go for loppers.
There are good reasons to grow vegetables from seed. There are so many more choices when you’re buying seeds. Ordinarily, the Garden Center has 50 varieties of tomato seedlings on order. If you look at seeds though, you can chose from 124 cherries, currants, slicers and pastes. Another important reason to grow your own is that you are in complete control of how your food is produced, from soil to fertilizers to pest control.
Remember March 1st? Calm winds. 52 degrees. Definitely lamb weather! And the forecast for the 31st doesn’t look particularly lion-like. Though early spring weather is fickle, we count on April to be a more golden month. Don’t you find yourselves looking for any excuse to be outdoors in the early spring sunshine? It feels as though everything alive is aching to stretch- length of the days, leaves on the trees, germinating seeds.
After a few seasons on your deck or patio, your outdoor furniture may begin to show some wear and tear. Especially if you aren’t doing regular maintenance. No matter the material, good quality pieces are manufactured with outdoor use in mind but remember that stain-resistant does not translate to stain-proof.
So how can you add the color and fragrance of flowers to your home without breaking the bank? Bring a bit of spring indoors by gathering branches of flowering trees and shrubs, and then forcing them to bloom inside the house.
As winter recedes, each sign of spring seems more symbolic than the last. And the season’s teasing tone always makes us a little crazy. We’re longing for thunderstorms instead of snow showers. The sandhill crane’s raspy call or the melodious song of a redwing blackbird makes us grin. Even the bright yellow bloom of the first dandelion can be a cause for celebration.
Your houseplants are certainly happier with the sunshine and longer days. You can start fertilizing moderately to encourage new growth. Prune any straggly stems to stimulate branching. You’ll end up with much nicer plants if you give them periodic haircuts. It’s about a month too early though to do any re-potting.
Last weekend’s lovely weather has us itching to get into the garden, but the incoming cooler temperatures are signaling that it may be a while before you begin planting anything. Never fear though. Spring always arrives. Eventually.