Chasing Spring

Chasing Spring

Blue Grass Garden Blog, February 2024

February Follies

The winter of 2024 has been mild to say the least, although early this year, the short-term deep freeze tried to knock us all down. Early February was once again showing us unseasonably warm temperatures and had us all eagerly anticipating spring. Although, maybe no one as much as Balzac Billy and the results are in! On February 2nd, Groundhog Day morning, Balzac Billy saw his shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of winter! Our Groundhog Day festivities and pancake breakfast were a resounding success, thank you to all that attended.

Eager Early Gardeners

With the slippery slope of mid winter warm weather, gardeners often feel the pull into their gardens and may notice buds swelling, tulips peaking through the soil and perennials showing growth. Unmulched and exposed soil quickly dries out with the lack of precipitation, and the perennial question arises – to water or not to water. Earlier we suggested letting Mother Nature take care of your plants, but as we get closer to spring it becomes a little more of a guessing game. Watering regularly will encourage growth, especially as daylength and temperatures increase. The flip side is dry soil will warm up quicker than moist soil also encouraging growth. Water your beds and garden areas if needed (if ground is frozen, you do not need to water) and apply mulch to help keep soil temperatures from warming up to quickly. If you already have mulch on your garden beds, you shouldn’t need to water. This time of year, water very occasionally not regularly, only if required. When more snow arrives, pile it on to your flower and garden beds.

Despite our balmy temperatures this month, typical winter extremes and snow are likely to return. If your trees and shrubs leaf buds have broken (bud break), they probably will suffer frost damage but should push through again when spring truly arrives. Help them along by fertilizing, and providing a little extra TLC when the time is right (once spring is officially here). More damage may occur when flower buds and spring bulbs start to emerge, as the plant uses so much energy pushing colour it’s unlikely that they will produce blooms or fruit this season.

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” – Gertrude Jekyll, British horticulturist