The Ski Bowl Garden is already giving us beauty! The strange weather with heat then frost plus the lack of water makes for a strange showing this spring. If you notice the Trillium flowers in the woods, the blooms are stunted and some did not even have time to bloom. Some of the Daffodils were the same way. They either did not bloom or froze. I went out to pick them from my garden and it was after the frost so they broke off with the ice and quickly turned to mush when I brought them in.
I have decided that gardening keeps you alive because there is no end to it and you have to keep beating those weeds back or they with quickly grow over the years of work that you have invested.
Early weeding is great as long as you have enough knowledge that you can tell what is weed and what isn’t. In the spring the roots (rhizomes) really get their hold for the season so if you can pull them before they get a chance to spread it will save you lots of work later in the season.
Hints for the flower gardener:
Weed fabric helps only for the first year of a garden. IF you are starting a garden, it is good to use black plastic to cover the area a year before you are going to start turning soil. It will save you more time than weed fabric.
Mulch will also help but when the seeds fly they will grow in the mulch so you need to keep it worked and apply more. Use natural mulch. The colored stuff has chemicals and sometimes traces of arsenic.
Do not crowd your plants when starting a garden. They will fill in quickly on their own and you need to give them space to grow. Thin out your perennials. It is fun to give them to neighbors and it is better for your garden.
Test your soil to see what you need to add. Cornell Cooperative Extension will test for a small fee.
Watch out for invasive plants. They may be beautiful to start out but you may never get rid of them. My Grandfather brought in some Bishop Weed as a ground cover. It has a pretty flower like wild carrot but it spreads both with seeds and roots. I now have 40 acres of the stuff and fight it in all of my gardens at our home in North River. It is pretty, but chokes out just about everything. It will grow from the smallest of root pieces so if you try to remove, it only takes the smallest piece to continue its life course. Purple Loosestrife is another bad one. If you want a list you can find it at the DEC Web site for your area. What is invasive some places, may not be invasive where you live.
Don’t forget our plant exchange and sale May 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Most plants are $1.00 and there will be master gardeners there to help you with information. It is fun and the proceeds support the Ski Bowl Garden.