Spring is here! (I hope)

stpaulite(z4 MN)April 13, 2009

I know it's early, but it's been so nice, and so sunny, that I went on a cleaning binge in the backyard. My plants are exposed! There are little green shoots everywhere. I even moved a couple plants to the boulevard beds I prepared last fall. I'm just so excited. Spring is here!

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I agree, it is wonderful to FINALLY be able to play in the dirt!

It took all the willpower I had not to clear the mulch off all my gardens yesterday! I did uncover my iris, tulips and herb garden tho. And re-did the border on my front and side beds.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 9:13AM
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We took mulch off yesterday --- we just couldn't help it.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 4:14PM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

My DH kept reminding me that I asked him to remind me not to take the mulch off to early this year so I kept away from the rake.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 6:18PM
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I spent the day cleaning out the yard and beds too! I couldn't keep my fingers out of the dirt. The roses are bubbling away (the ones that the bunnies didn't get to yet) and unfortunately, the yarrow I planted last year is poking up too. I think I got it all last fall. Ugh. Not my plant.

Yay! Yay! I planted some peas as well. I'm sure if the bunnies don't get them, something else will, but it was fun. The basset hound helped. She'd help more if she'd do what she's SUPPOSED to do and chase bunnies! (And before anyone chastises me, bassets were bred to give chase, not catch. They're much to much slow to catch. But if she could just spook those bunnies away from my roses!!)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 12:27AM
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We cut down the prairie and hauled it away last weekend, besides digging out the roses that is my biggest chore. Felt REALLY good to get that done. The daisies and the prairie smoke were peeking out, but not much else. Found that I had pussy willows out there, thought that was sweet, left them standing. Now for some rain...Please?


    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 9:05AM
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joyfulsnowflake(Zone 4)

We planted some snow peas last weekend. My daughter (2 yr) helped with sowing the peas. Such a beautiful day to be outside.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 2:07PM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

I started some clean up yesterday and found several dead bunnies. One of our neighbors lets her cats roam and I would guess that one of them got them. I don't want more rabbits to eat my garden but I also wish she would keep her cats inside. I keep mine in and so do the rest of our neighbors that have cats.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:13AM
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We raked the lawn on Sunday but I've resisted the beds so far. I'm afraid it could still get cold again-hopefully I'm wrong!! I have lots of daylilies coming up, but haven't seen much else. I planted sweet peas on Monday, turned my outside water on this am and now am going out to dig up my veggie garden. I can't believe it is SO nice out (and I actually have the day off to enjoy it!). I have a few days off next week as well, so I'm hoping the nice weather continues . . .

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 10:08AM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

Hacked back the prairie garden yesterday and will be lifting leaves very carefully off the beds today. I have so much exploding up right now! The trout lilies (dog toothed violets) weren't even up yesterday but are today and about to bloom - this and the bloodroot is just barely showing. My forsythia from leftwood a few years back is blooming this year! It's been chewed back a bit but very cool to have flowers on something only a couple feet high. Geum (prairie smoke) is starting to flower as well and my white crocus.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 1:20PM
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peggy_hosta(z4 neSD)

I uncovered some perennials and mums,sedum 'Autumn Joy', daylilies. Might keep the hostas covered for awhile yet.
Planted lettuce and peas yesterday!!!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 4:28PM
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stpaulite(z4 MN)

I am amazed by what is coming up. Sadly, unlike selkie I have no flowers, but my Asiatic lilies are poking up in places.

I am continuing to dig and shift plants to the beds between the sidewalk and the street. Now, if only it would rain...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 7:59PM
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I have tons of stuff up as well, with quite a few flowers. I have had purple crocuses blooming for about three weeks now. Within the last few days, several, what appears to be mini daffadils (I planted them and should now what they are, but forgot) started blooming. I have a few grape hyacinths blooming, a few mini irises starting to bloom, and my lenten rose is blooming as well. It is already looking pretty good out there, and it is only mid-April . . . what good times to come . .

- Adam

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 10:45PM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

DH was listening to a radio gardening program yesterday and they were saying yes to raking the lawn and no to the garden beds just yet.

The guy was also saying it was time to trim the hydrangea, spirea and potentilla to the ground. I haven't done that before, should I be?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 8:03AM
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stpaulite(z4 MN)

zenpotter--They say the same thing about Dogwood. I think it depends on whether it blooms on old or new wood and whether or not the shrub is healthy or not. Re: Dogwood--I haven't touched mine in years, and I get plenty of lovely red color in the Spring and Fall. I finally cut it back this year just to control its spread. I also cut my roses back to within a couple feet of the ground for the first time in years. Usually I just let them be, pruning out any deadwood, but otherwise letting them just green up. In general it seems to work. But eventually, they will start to get too leggy. We reached the too leggy stage last Fall.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 8:15AM
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I have trimmed my spirea harshly many times because that is what it takes to fix them after the rabbits have eaten their share. It keeps them nice and compact and a good shape. I hate potentilla so I have none, but I see no reason to cut hydrangea to the ground unless they are the herbaceous type that pretty much die down that far anyway. I raked the heck outa some of my gardens yesterday, if I regret it later I regret it later, right now it feels wonderful to have a bit of a head start on all the spring cleanup I have to do. Adam, sounds like spring in your yard...can't believe the mini iris are blooming already...I can bearly find mine.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 8:16AM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

Helen, Thanks, guess I will have to find out what other people do with potential.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:27AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

With no frost forecast for the next 10 days I have been removing the mulch from my beds. Seems I usually wait too long and the new growth is long and spindly. Perrenials are either just breaking the soil or still small and compact.

I cut my spirea back almost to the ground in the fall to keep the plant short and compact. Comes back well each spring.

Rabbits have pruned my hydrangeas and dogwood. I pruned a few branches to get a nicer shape. Do any of you fence in your plants to keep the critters from nibbling during the winter?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 12:19PM
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I have been fencing the things that the rabbits will destroy, if they are things that can't handle a tough pruning, primarily these little evergreens that they gobbled the year before and a burning bush that I am coaxing along.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 2:56PM
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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

Yes- I too have learned to fence in the fall- and not wait till winter- anything that is a non native shrub or tree with a thin bark.
It is a certainty that the bunnies will eat it down if I forget- and even then- I have had the Deer reach over the fence and nibble the tops off!
Silly business! I have been trying to have a matching pair of Korean lilac shrubs- this year one will be 3-4' tall and the other, 18-20"....
A matched pair of Pagoda dogwoods- one almost 5' tall- the other, completely and utterly ringed for several inches at the base. I am hoping that new growth might happen from the roots...
I have Annabell Hydrangea and every few years I cut it down to the ground to control the spread. I did that last fall- so no blooms for me this year.
I remove the dead from my spirea annually- and have split them like a perennial a time or 2. The roots are mostly shallow- and they don't seem to mind it a bit!
I too have been removing some of the VERY THICK layer of leaves from some of my beds- I had a few that were very wet and cold yet. Most of the beds were dry enough to work in so I have been cleaning, clearing, weeding, dividing, potting up and (mostly) enjoying getting dirty from head to toe these nice warm days- It is good to here of all of our progress!
Zen- a gal on the Hosta forum found a dead squirrel while she was planting some hosta- she tossed the critter into the hole and planted the hosta on top. Later that same year- the hosta with the squirrel was much larger and healthier appearing that it's counterparts and it still is... Maybe the bunnies were a "double" blessing....
Helen- I love this quote- "We cut down the prairie and hauled it away". Sounds like it should be in an eco-ballad song of the Joni Mitchell type. Even knowing your gardens and what you are talking about it still sounds herculean on the verge of god like (and probably rightly so)!
Happ(il)y gardening!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 9:48AM
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Julie - you will have blooms on Annabelle, it blooms on new wood. Every winter the rabbit prune it back for me.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 10:19AM
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LOL...ya it was a lost lyric from 'Big Yellow Taxi'
Not so bad a job as it turns out, it cut it with my electric hedge clippers, last year I cut three extention cords in the process, this year I only cut ONE! How can I be so blond when I am really a brunette?

The squirel ...um...yuc.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 8:01PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Finished removing the thick mulch from the last of my beds yesterday. Since it is to be a bit cooler for a few days I sprinkled the newly exposed plants in the last bed with a very light layer of shredded leaves. If they do get frosted most of the perennials will come back and bloom a little later.

Got all but one small area of the lawn raked and next week will be starting a new bed in the front yard. Picked up some compost from the Maple Grove yard recycling site and placed it around perennials in large front bed.

Crocus are blooming in the veg bed which is fenced in to prevent rabbit damage. Also have some daffodils, squill, and hyacinths blooming on the east side of the house. Other bulbs in more open areas are starting to form buds or just pushing up from the soil. Looks odd seeing buds forming close to the soil on the giant alliums and knowing the blooms will be held high later in the season.

Cut pussy willows to add to my pansy pot.

Think I will water tomorrow if we don't get more rain since we only had a few sprinkles today. Soil that was not mulched is very dry. Some of the mulched area on the north side of the garage is still frozen.

We went to Macy's spring flower show this afternoon. Nice to see so many blooming shrubs and bulbs. Felt like a St. Louis spring.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 10:24PM
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Trim your Potentilla's now. I have 8 Jackman Potentilla's that line one side of my driveway and I trim them every April to about 1 1/2 foot high for the last 21 years. This keeps them from getting leggy. They grow nicely (3ft) and begin flowering in June and continue through fall.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:15AM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)




    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:20AM
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I got a lot of clean up done last weekend but still have a few beds to go. Seems like they all catch the late burr oak leaves that finally fall after it has snowed. Lucky for me I was in the mood last fall to do some initial cut back and clean up so it wasn't as bad this spring. Happily most of my newly planted shrubs survived. I don't see any flower buds on my Star magnolia though which is disappointing, but at least it has leaf buds coming.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 10:25AM
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