Uncovering gardens

JustJoeyGirl(z5 NY)March 22, 2006

Hi All, Happy Spring. I began uncovering my gardens over the last few days. I know it is still cold at night, but I usually wind up damaging some of the foliage if I wait too long to uncover the beds. Mostly oak leaves ( whole, not shredded) and branchs that fell over the winter. I have found a number of flowering crocus, iris reticulata and some daffodils in bud under there..some of the perennials are on their way up too. I am hoping to add some ammended compost and mulch in early this year. I see many of the plants that are usually up when I uncover them are not yet. This kind of defeats my purpose of mulching early..I don't want to step on or cover the crowns of pre-emerging perennials....

When do you uncover your gardens? For those that uncover early, what have been your experiences? (Maybe I'm not early, I don't know, it is just early for me...I think I usually do them after the daffodils are beginning to bloom.)

I did find it easier to get the leaves and debris off, and I think it will be easier to mulch around them when they are still small. The cooler weather makes it easier too.

I hope it is ok to uncover when temps are still low, or else I shouldn't have planted early spring bulbs amongst my perennials..I'd never get to see them... What do you do?

Happy Spring..JoAnn

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lisa2004(NY Z5/6)

In the past I've waited too long to uncover my gardens (thinking that I was doing a good thing). However, underneath all the leaves my plants were trying to grow and ended up yellow and unhealthy. This winter I didn't even cover them with leaves. I figure it's survival of the fittest. It was so much work taking off all those leaves every spring anyway. I see that I have lots of healthy-looking plants comming up, so most of them must have made it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 12:56PM
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susanzone5(z5NY)

I let nature cover the garden with leaves (too much work for me. haha.) I don't remove the leaves till late March, but I do like to help along the crocus leaves that are stuck. I like the way the early bulb flowers look against the leaves, moreso than bare soil.

Really, I don't think hardy perennials care. The downside to removing the mulch too early is the nightly frost/thaw heaves the soil everyday. That can uproot plants that should stay solidly frozen under that mulch.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 4:14PM
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