What a crazy winter! I’m sure we are all looking forward to SUNSHINE. I know I am. These dreary days are getting to me. I just need a little sun to help my mood along with my other fellow-sufferers. The good news is, spring is coming! There is no time like the present to start prepping.
You might be thinking, since it was so cold, “My plants will all be dead come spring!” You’ll be mistaken. They will be very happy then, as they have gotten so much needed moisture and moisture from above is the best for our gardens. Although this year I will be taking my grass out, right now it’s very green and that means my plants got a big drink. Tap water contains chlorine, so rain water is the best! You can always notice after a good rain, all your plants are smiling.
Not all roses will make it through winter, but with them it’s hit or miss every year, and it’s not the moisture it’s the freezing temps that sometimes kill them. Often, all it takes come spring is clipping off the brown on top that might have frozen in the winter. Roses are late bloomers so wait to judge their survival until much later in the season.
These unusually cold temperatures can be dangerous to plants, but they can have positive effects on your soil in a couple of ways. First, subzero temperatures can make the frost level under the soil deeper than usual. This fixes the nitrogen in the soil, providing more nutrients to plants during the growing season. Also, when the frost thaws, it softens the soil and reduces compaction, so the soil is easier to work with and holds more water.
A final silver lining to subzero temperatures: they can kill off or greatly reduce some pests, such as the Emerald Ash Borer and the Gypsy moth. Keep this happy thought in mind in the coming weeks, when you are putting on two coats, scarves, and gloves under your mittens!
During the winter, we had some bathroom remodeling jobs, living room rehab, and we just finished a huge condo job in Evanston. I was also able to do some DIY projects so I didn’t go crazy just waiting until spring.
Now it‘s time to plan! Last year, I just made a dent in my own garden as I just moved to Niles, and this year I want to remove all the grass and finish my front. So, although it’s still too cold out to have fun digging in the dirt, I can plan out how I want to finish my garden. Please call me early spring so we can plan either your front, backyard, or both! This will help you now as weeks and weeks of no sun might be getting you down too.
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