Living in a northern climate means gardeners only have a few short months to make the most out of plant growth. As the temperature starts to warm up faster than normal, green thumbs are starting to think about laying seeds.
Owner of Art Knapp Home and Garden Centres, Jos Van Hage says the growing season should come two weeks in advance this year. “Flowering maydays and choke cherries are really starting to bud out already. You see some willows start budding out and that is pretty early when it’s not even the first of April.”
However, an early season means an early cycle of preparation as well. Van Hage says gardeners will need to focus on fertilizing, pruning, and aeration prior to planting. He stresses the importance of dry soil before any aeration is started. “You should do a little pH test which is done very inexpensively and only costs about two dollars. Find out what the pH is and if the soil is a little sour, apply some lime before starting to fertilize.”
As for the right fertilizer, Van Hage recommends a spring fertilizer with 13 per cent nitrogen to act as a strong foundation for growth into the summer months. Then, pruning can be done on many different shrubs and trees. Experts suggest pruning early budding flowers like lilacs after they start to flower and to never prune a Maple or Birch Tree as it could be die if altered with.
As for planting, Van Hage says your best bet is to start planting flowers indoors and take them outside during the day before the temperature gets consistently warmer.