Spring 2014 Plans

nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)February 2, 2014

If Spring 2014 ever comes, it won't be soon enough.

I'm toying with the idea of digging up more of the lawn to accommodate more vegetables. I just have no idea when this process might start to look odd. I'm not good at "decorating". I need to relocate my roses, although I'm not sure where to put them. I also want to find somebody to build a type of gazebo/leanto/arbor type thing, and maybe a small greenhouse of sorts.

What are your plans for this year? Growing the tried and true, or experimenting with new? Major projects or keeping up with the old?

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runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

My big project this year is incorporating a chicken house into my yard. I want a pretty one that looks sort of like a miniature Mother-in-law house. I'm also adding a rock garden. The west side of two giant spruce trees gets an odd-shaped dry spot every summer. No matter how much water is poured to it, it just never holds green past June. (I have a large swath of river-rock beneath my yard and this is probably where it is closer to the surface.) Last year I killed the grass with roundup in the shape of the "brown" spot and bordered the pattern with big rocks. I brought in a bunch of gravely sand and rototilled it in as best as I could. This year I'm going to continue killing grass that pops up and special order some extra hardy cactus and add some alpine plants too. We'll see how it goes.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 12:50PM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

I am going to extend my hummingbird gardens with more bee balm, foxglove and penstemon, build an arbour for some John Davis roses that have finally begun to climb, plant some crabapple trees and dig out a section of lawn that bakes in the sun, is a pain to water and mow and replace it with some sun loving, low water plants.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 6:01PM
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I'm so happy to have found a group of gardeners who all take on the challenges of "up north" gardening and who understand the difficulties inherent in growing in northern zones. I love reading all of your posts and I learn from each of you!
My spring plans include building my dream greenhouse and I am so excited. I have planned for so long and this spring it will come true. I am working with the builder now to finalize plans and am hardly sleeping at night in anticipation. I also plan to add two more raised beds in my outdoor garden area, one for strawberries and one for black raspberries. Oh, and I've ordered two more grape vines and two apricot trees, after inspiration from reading some posts here.
Our winter has been really bitter this year and especially snowy, so I am making the assumption that spring is actually going to melt all of this white stuff away eventually. Not soon enough!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 8:25PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Oh my, I can't even list what I would like to do, much less what I will accomplish. I am not much of a visionary or a planner so I can only say I have 50 roses to plant, some dahlia and lots of seeds to start.....rest will be up to my whims at the time.

I do love hearing what you all are planning as it gives (read: enables) me ideas.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 7:02PM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

My spring plans involve trying to repair all the damage done to my yard by construction and home repair done in the fall. Nothing was completed, so I'm still faced with the mess for part of the growing season.
I get depressed just thinking about all the work that needs to be done. I was reasonably happy with my yard before, and it took a long time for me to get there so this will be a difficult year I think.
My priority is to find a place to rebuild my composting system. In the fall I stuffed leaves etc in bags and containers and they're all over the place. Right now it's all hidden by the mountains of snow. I'm almost dreading spring.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 7:36PM
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I'm making NO plans, no plans, no plans. LOL Usually at this time of year I make lists, pretend or real orders, collect plant pics online, etc. etc. and am tired before gardening season even starts. This year I am not doing any of that! ;D

I have looked at a few catalogs, library books, and nursery/garden center sites online and hope to resist ordering too many plants like I did last year. It's sooo tempting tho.

In reality I will be getting a dump truck load of mulch and hopefully finish my labyrinth. Will move a few perennials that should have been moved years ago. Get my compost going again so it's finished this year.

Hoping to merely tweak my garden design, plant some containers, and enjoy my garden. Plan to get a new chaise for the patio so I will have some place to relax and do nothing. LOL Wonder if I can do that?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 2:28PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I usually plan for some leisure time in the yard too but it seldom happens!

The main thing for me this year is going to be keeping ahead of the weeds and trying to mulch more. I'd also like to get rid of as much as i can of the ranunculus repens that's trying to take over my back bed. My granddaughter says i need to make her little flower bed larger - she's getting as plant-hungry as her grandma is!

Thing is, with the amount of snow we have, i may not be able to get out into the gardens until July!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:31PM
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Marcia, I've been having pretty good success using a mixture of grass clippings and chopped dry leaves to keep down the weeds. I keep my extra leaves over the winter so I generally don't run out of them :)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:33AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I have lots of leaves too, and grass clippings since i bag them all. I've used them as mulch before and i think i will again this summer (if it ever comes again....). How do you chop your leaves, with the lawnmower?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 1:32PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

This year I think I will be removing all or most of my lilies. It breaks my heart but I can't handle lily beetles. I will start with the ones that I remember being hardest hit last year, and if I have any trouble with the others they're coming out.

I need more room for the roses I haven't gotten around to ordering yet, so there will be a garden expansion or new one created somewhere. Maybe a bit of both because only digging will have a bed ready by May Long weekend for rose delivery, but only RU clears a large area with the amount of effort I'm willing to invest.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:50PM
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I got a hot tub back in November, so that blew my budget.

I am going to replace the door to the backyard and replace the two posts adjoining it with 6x6s as well as put in a nice arbour over it. Also will probably replace the horribly installed plastic edging around the north border where the hostas are with pre-cast brick so that I can just mow over that grass instead of bringing out the trimmer.

I replaced the hose taps with frost-free taps last year, which was a great decision.

Next year I will probably remove the existing concrete patio that the previous owners put in and install a stone patio next to the house (they put the patio on the far side of the yard).

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 4:12PM
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Sounds like everyone has some doable and exciting plans for this year :)

Marcia, I just mow over the leaves, dump them out of the bag, mow them again, and then spread them around ( or find something to keep them in for the winter) Then I water them a bit so the wind doesn't blow them away. If I'm going to just throw them back onto the lawn for the winter, I mow a third time so that they're really finely chopped.

Gillian, I didn't realize the lily beetle was in Manitoba. I thought it was mainly Alberta so far.....how sad to have to remove your lilies :(


    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 5:43PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I don't know what i'll do if the lily beetle makes it here. :( I've been keeping an eye out, but so far so good. A friend in Toronto has been very vigilant with the ERBs, as she calls them - Evil Red B--t--ds! LOL She thinks she's winning the war. She hand-picks and destroys them, and i think she bought some neem oil this year and used that. You also have to be on the lookout for their eggs.

Thanks for the info on the leaves, Lynn. That would a good way to run the last of the gas through the mower at the end of the season.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 10:02PM
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