A Few Gardening Tips For Now

Blueberries are in bloom. They will be fine unless we have a freeze. In that case you may need to cover them.

Tulips are blooming early this year. Once they shadow the bulbs will need to be pulled, as they have to be treated as annuals.

If you have Poa annua in your yard, it needs to be killed or removed before it goes to seed.

When pulling weeds make sure you get all the roots possible. If the weed has a tap root and you break it when you are pulling it up, it will come back next year unless you dig it out.

What an early spring we are having. Lots of rain followed by a few days of warm weather and a bit of sun. So, what should we be doing in our garden with many things flowering early and wet, wet ground? Do not worry, nature is unpredictable, and we have to simply adjust to the conditions we have. First and foremost pulling weeds when the ground is wet makes it a lot easier to get all of the roots. Hand weeding, while tedious, is a great way to control weeds even though it is old fashioned. One weed in my turf and some of my beds is Poa annua. Even though I put down a pre-emergence last fall to control it, I still have some in my yard. At this time we need to get any plants removed by the roots before they go to seed. I tried a recommended¬†over the counter spring control spray, but it did not work. So I only know of two ways to get rid of it. Pull it out by the roots, or take something like a shoe bottle with a sponge applicator and fill it with “round-up” concentrate straight out of the bottle and dab the Poa annua with the sponge applicator avoiding touching the good grass. Wear gloves to do this. Do this on dry days when it is not expected to rain for 24 hours. This is not an instant kill, but in a week or so you should see the Poa annua turning yellow and dying.
Now as for early blooming bulbs such as tulips, simply enjoy them even though they may be very early. Small fruits like blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are in bloom and will need to be protected when a freeze is predicted. Just remember to uncover them when the danger of frost has past.
Folks in my mind I should have planted my early spring garden two weeks ago, but it is just too wet to till. Any time now you can seed lettuce, spinach and other greens. Cole crops like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower transplants can be set out at any time.

P.S. My friend Libby Rich and I discussed this blog and I agree with her that with our soils this wet, stepping into the garden can increase soil compaction when you weed. So be careful and try not to compact the soil by pulling the weeds you can reach from paths or from grassy areas until our gardens dry out some.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

2 thoughts on “A Few Gardening Tips For Now

    • Of course it depends on the perennial but a product called PREEN claims you can use it on perennial gardens but I not sure. Hand weeding and good mulch is always the best

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