by Connie Oswald Stofko
Yesterday I took some kitchen scraps out to my compost bin. The air temperature was only about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and I was surprised by how warm it felt in the sun. It made me want to putter in my garden.
But don’t rush things. One thing you have to be concerned about is walking around on a wet lawn or garden bed.
Walking on wet soil can compact the soil, which isn’t good for your plants. The soil won’t drain well and compacted soil makes it more difficult for the roots of your plants to penetrate the soil.
The forecast calls for rain later in the week, so even if your yard is fairly dry now, it may become mushy or even splashy. Those are clear signals that you should be sticking to your paths.
That’s okay. Even if it’s wet out, there are a few things gardeners can do now.
Pick up sticks, pull weeds
Stand on a path, the sidewalk or the driveway and pick up sticks and pull weeds.
We’ve had lots of windy weather, and even if you have already picked up sticks once, there may be another batch waiting for you. And if your yard is anything like mine, you’ll find plenty of weeds to keep you busy until you get cold enough to want to go inside.
Clean out your garage or shed
This is something you’re not going to want to do when the weather is gorgeous out, so do it now.
Get rid of things that are broken. Organize your pots and tools. Get your tools sharpened.
Do you have plant tags that you want to refer to but are all jumbled? One gardener slips his plant tags on a metal ring and another uses pockets in a three-ring binder.
Decide what you want to plant this year
It’s fun to stroll through garden centers and choose plants that catch your eye, but a little bit of planning can help your landscape look its best.
Did you look at the gardenscapes at Plantasia and get ideas for your landscape? Or perhaps you were inspired by gardens you saw on a garden walk or Open Gardens last summer. Do you need more height in your garden? Did you decide you need more native plants? Maybe you want to do something with that shady area in your yard. Give it some thought now.
Note: The 59-cent perennial sale at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses will take place from April 26 to May 3. You can see the list of plants here. Take some time to look through it and see if those plants match your needs.
Do you want to start plants from seed? You can do that now– or soon– depending on what plants you want to grow. See more details here.
You can also get seeds for free from the WNY Seed Library.
Enjoy what’s growing
Sometimes we concentrate on tasks so much that we forget to enjoy our gardens. Stick to the paths, but take a few moments to delight in the first signs of spring!
7 Comments on “Things you can do in your garden in this warm(ish) weather in WNY”
Hi Kathi, Carolyn Stanko of Niagara County Community College advises against lawn rolling (at least as an annual practice). While it can smooth out bumps, it can also compact your soil. See the article here. For a more nuanced answer, contact the Master Gardeners. Here is the contact info for the various counties. I hope that helps!
When Is the best time to do lawn rolling? We had an inground pool taken out last fall and we were told to roll the lawn in the Spring to make sure there are no uneven spots. What month is best to do this?
Diane and Lori, thanks so much for your kind words. I’m glad you find Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com helpful.
I love the suggestion to clean out the garage now rather than in gorgeous weather. I know mine has many leaves that blew in.
I look forward to Tuesdays. I like not having to read a novel to enjoy your tips and tricks of the trade. You do give good information in a condensed format. Either I learn something or my memory is jogged.
Great ideas! It’s so tempting to get out in the garden when we have some sun, this gives me something to do while the ground dries!