IN THE GARDEN: Tips for spring

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 12:08

It is great to be back and writing again for the Star’s “In the Garden.” The column will continue to find answers to your questions about gardening and discuss topics that are of interest to our community. Current gardening events and opportunities will be listed for your information. I look forward to researching your questions and providing the latest practices that are available. Feel free to email me at [email protected] with your questions as well as gardening events that are happening around our community.

Well, we have had a cool spring so far and plenty of wind storms that have kept this gardener inside. To keep busy, my plant room is full of seedlings on my lighted cart planted in February and March, and they are just itching to get outside in the sunshine. The greenhouse is full of annual flowers that need to be planted as soon as is safely possible. Unfortunately, soon means after the last frost, and that is usually Memorial Day weekend. We must be patient. This is easy to say, but hard for the gardener to do.

In the meantime, raking the yard and pulling off the dieback from our perennial plants so the new shoots can emerge can begin. Give your plants a good drink of warm water and a tablespoon of Epsom salts dissolved in the watering can and watch the plants take off. Sharpening your cutting tools and oiling them for upcoming pruning is a good idea. Reorganizing the garden shed area has been one of my projects on the to-do list. It is amazing what you can find.

Trips to our greenhouses around town can be encouraging and promote the gardening bug to bite. Currently, the greenhouses are full of beautiful annual and perennial plants grown for the season, and I sure do appreciate their hard work, and I try to thank them for their efforts in providing beautiful plants to our community.

It is time to put away our bird feeders as the bears are awake and looking for opportunities. Mother moose will soon be in the backyards having their young and munching on our bushes so be aware out there. Get outside and enjoy the feeling of growing beautiful plants and flowers. There is nothing like it. Share your bounty with your neighbors. Children especially can enjoy caring for a small garden of their own. See you around town.

May Garden Events:

May 17

Matanuska Experiment Farm, 1509 South Georgeson Road, Palmer. The hird Thursdays with extension topic, raised garden beds and container gardening.

May 21

Alaska Master Gardeners program will be on rhododendrons with Doug Tryck, 7 pm at CES, 1840 Bragaw St. Chugachmiut Building, downstairs.

May 19

ARGS and ABG plant sale, 10-4 p.m. Alaska Botanical Garden

Homer Garden Club annual plant sale, 11 a.m. Homer Chamber of Commerce.

May 20

Anchorage Permaculture Club seedling exchange, 3-5 p.m., Woodland Park, 36th Ave. Spenard. Across from Boys & Girls Club.

May 22

Hiland Mountain Correctional Center plant sale. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 9101 Hesterberg Road, Eagle River. Call 69-9511 for more information.

May 26

ARGS plant sale, 10-4 p.m. 3379 Inlet Vista Circle, Wasilla

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