Were having a Goldilocks and the Three Beers kind of spring.
First its unusually hot. Then its too cold. Whats a gardener to do?
By this time, we feel compelled to get out there and do something.
The baby veggie plants are getting leggy and leaning over toward the window. The tender perennials call our names as we hold our hands over our ears and sing la-la-la as we pass them in the store. We put on our gardening gloves, go outside, move a pot, then go inside.
Or maybe you just grab those three beers and ignore the call of the wild.
If youre like me, however, brushing off the urge to garden is not an option. My Dirt habit is so bad; Ive been pulling quack grass from the mulch of business parking lots.
If its too early to plant tender annuals – and I dont plant them until Mothers Day weekend, no matter how much the impatiens whine – its not too early to weed and whack.
Last weekend, I got out the loppers and went to town. Volunteer trees and annoying ivy were helpless in my frenzy. OK, so I might have stomped on an emerging hosta or two, but there are going to be a few casualties in the war on thugs.
I cleared some areas, covered them with several layers of newspaper and then hid that with a little mulch. Those spots might be a good place to put a bird bath or a big pot full of plants when the weather gets warmer. Do I want to plant there? Maybe. You just dont want naked spots that will end up causing you problems later.
You also dont want to encourage problem plants.
Here are some of Indianas Most Unwanted invasive plant pests that Ive spotted recently in Fort Wayne (and a few at Dirt Cottage): Asian bush honeysuckle, garlic mustard, periwinkle, Canada thistle, creeping Charlie, Norway maple, privet, purple winter creeper and winged burning bush.
To see the entire list, with links to pictures and fast facts about each bad boy, go to www.in.gov/dnr/3123.htm and click on the Most Unwanted list. Ill put the direct link on Were Digging It, the Journal Gazettes gardening blog at www.journalgazette.net.
Other ideas for now
Transplant hostas and day lilies
Paint pots (Im experimenting this year with ancient plastic pots and spray paint)
Mow and trim
Deadhead tulips and jonquils that are past their prime
Cut back the forsythia
Buy something fun. I just got a cheerful, chunky hen for the garden bed next to the kitchen door
Scrub the porch or patio and clean outdoor furniture