As April ends and we move back outside to reclaim our connection to our yards, we feel invigorated and inspired. After all, how can we feel glum when we see the crocuses, daffodils and all the life just waiting for the warmth of the sun to emerge?
We have been cleaning up winter debris and preparing our landscapes for future plantings. I offer up some tips:
- Don’t get too tidy, leave a few leaves and stems snuggled at the back of your garden, or even better turn your mulch up and over top of leaf litter. The stems and leaves will decompose and feed your soil and plants. The soils biological community needs food, and as the dormant beetles and other bugs wake up, having a first feeding, helps them get thru these spring days.
- “If the crocuses are blooming it’s time to plant the peas.” This old take comes from a garden mentor I have had in the past. Marjorie would remind us to look at what is happening in your area and use these clues to direct your work.
- When cleaning up the garden beds try not to disturb the soil too much. If you are preparing to plant seeds, just rake gently, the microsystems of the soils appreciate a gentle hand.
- Add all coarse woody debris like branches and twigs to a brush-wall or small pile to create habitat for the critters living with you in your yard. Providing for all the things critters need will enliven your space and you will reap many rewards. Critters need space and supplies to build nests and prepare for offspring. They also need water and food sources, perhaps a small depression within the garden can become a space for intermittent water retention so the birds, bees, and butterflies can nourish themselves and gather much-needed energy for raising the young.
- Edging gardens for a refreshed look offers up biomass too, these bits of sod can go into the compost pile for a fresh green layer. All good compost piles need a balanced amount of green and brown materials to decompose efficiently.
- If there are any seed heads remaining from last fall, sprinkle the seeds out to allow for some randomness in the flower beds.
Gardening is more than a chore, it’s a lifestyle choice. If you would like more information about reconnecting to Nature in your neighbourhood give us a call.