Galoshes (Photo credit: This Is A Wake Up Call)

Brace yourself London. While you might have seen the sun today, it’s not going to last. In case you haven’t heard, rain is on the way. And not just a drop or two. Oh no, they are suggesting that we have the chance of receiving upwards of 100 mm of precipitation, with maybe even a snowflake or two thrown in on Thursday and Friday. Nice. If you don’t have galoshes, better buy some when you are out getting that new umbrella.

That means that any dreams of getting into your garden will remain just that; dreams. At least for the short-term forecast. All that rain is sure to knock the last of the frost out of the ground though. And then whammo, flowers, plants and trees will spring back to life. Finally, garden season is about to arrive! That leaves you the next couple of weeks to finish up your indoors Spring cleaning, before heading outdoors. Maybe you can even spend that time picking up some bulbs to plant and the last of the seed packets you have been eyeing for this year’s garden. Do you have a plan once you get outside though? You might want to consider this;

Spring Garden Clean-up & Wake-up 101

Open secator - Secateur ouvert

  • Cut down grasses, sedums, hydrangeas and other perennials that you left for winter interest in your garden
  • Prune roses, butterfly bushes, azaleas, Weigela,  and Rose of Sharon
    • When pruning plants the general rule is to only cut about 1/3 of the plant at any given time. Remove any dead or damaged branches and trim the longest ones to encourage new growth.
  • Now is also a good time to prune evergreens like yew, cedar and euonymous bushes
  • English: Two raspberries, still on plant.Raspberries also require pruning. Make sure to remove any suckers that spring up outside of your designated area (they send underground suckers that can spread far and wide, so be diligent!). Cut to ground level any canes that produced fruit in the previous year, as the canes produce leaves the first year, fruit the second, then they die. Don’t worry, as new canes will replace them. With an eye to pruning, you have a few options;
    • Before their buds break, cut all canes down to about a foot from the ground and thin your canes to about 4-7 of the healthiest ones.You should get one larger fall crop versus a larger summer crop and smaller fall crop
    • Summer-bearing raspberries should have any weak, diseased and damaged canes removed to the ground. Trim any damaged tips.
  • While you have your pruning shears out and sharp, inspect any trees on your property. Prune any that show signs of disease or winter damage. Also consider air flow and prune out any branches that prevent proper circulation or that are weak or spindly.
  • Plant cool-weather crops like radishes, onions, beets, snow peas, kholrabi, potatoes, carrots and leafy greens, like kale, lettuce and spinach. You can even throw in some cold-loving annual flowers like a whole pack of pansies for a much-needed splash of colour in the garden

Spring will sprung eventually folks. It has to one of these days!