From the Desk of Ed Hume: Gardening in 2010
As 2009 comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to give some thought to your upcoming garden plans for 2010. What are your aims this year? Is it to grow your own vegetables, add more color to the garden, plant some fruit trees, eliminate some of the lawn, provide more shade, improve the landscape, prune back some of the over-grown plants, divide some of the perennials? If you start with a plan, there’s a greater chance the projects will get done, especially if you make a list of the projects and cross each one off as it is accomplished.
One of the easiest ways to make up a project list is to take a writing pad out into the garden and jot down the obvious things that need to be accomplished. Then, like with any project list, put the most important items in order starting at the top of the list.
Don’t forget about jobs like servicing the lawn mower, sharpening and cleaning the garden tools, and other such projects where the items may be “out of sight, out of mind” in the garage or tool shed. In fact, right now when service shops are not busy is one of the best times to get your power equipment serviced. Most people wait until Spring and then these same shops are backed-up for a week or two with repair/service orders. Capitalize on this time frame!
Another project that you might want to give attention to now or within the next couple of months is that of planting fruit, flowering or shade trees, berries, vines, and other deciduous plants. These plants are in their dormant season now, so it is not only the best time to plant them but also the best time to buy them since nurseries and garden centers have their best selections early in the season.
This is also a good time to check the foliage color of evergreens in the garden and consider whether they need feeding. If you find that some of them do, add that to your list of things to do. Then when feeding time comes around from late February to mid April, you’ll remember to give them the nutrients they need.
One last bit of advice: The best time to prune fruit, flowering, and shade trees is right now during their dormant season. Pick out and put aside a nice Winter day, because this is one job you’ll definitely want to tackle (or make arrangements to hire a professional to come in and do the job for you).
It’s not too early to give some thought to what needs to be done in the garden now, in the months to come, and throughout all of 2010.