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.