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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Early spring

dogwood trees in bloom

Now that It's spring, I've been enjoying all of the spring ephemerals.

Things like blood-root, may apples, star flowers, trout lilies-AKA dog tooth violet, Virginia bluebells. The shade garden is full of surprises as something new comes up every week. The turn-over of bloom in the early spring means that we seem to have a different garden from month to month.

The soil is soft, which means that it's still time to create new garden beds.

Keep the heavy equipment off the soil! Someone told me a story last week about putting in a wildflower garden that gave me the shivering horrors!

It seems the client hired a paving company to replace their turf with a wildflower garden. The person doing the work went out there with a bobcat and took up the turf.

I'm sure they got the turf grass out... they also packed that wet soil into an impermeable hard pan that nothing will be able to send roots through.

The solution? Most turf will die if covered in the autumn. This is why people rake their leaves! So... save yourself some work and leave those autumn leaves in place, and no more turf. No leaves? Cover the lawn with wood chips, or any other organic mulch.

Next they spread the seed and covered them with several inches of wheat straw. Ok, First of all, wildflower seed needs light to germinate. Secondly, Wildflower seed really should be spread in the autumn here in middle GA. The plants grow all winter and bloom in the late spring, after the spring ephemerals have finished.

Moral of the story? Hire the paving company to pack your driveway, not your flower garden.


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