Would you believe me if I told you that Spring is almost here? Probably not. I have a hard time believing it myself. The sunny days that look warm and inviting are still harboring a winter bite. The trees show no sign of life. The birds still sing but the songs are not as happy as they seem to be in the early spring when they are busy making their new nests.
You can still grab a jacket and a pair of gloves and go to your garden and yard to enjoy the chilly sunshine and help nature get ready for spring.
Your shrubs need some love before they wake up from winter’s sleep. Now is the perfect time to cut out dead limbs from your evergreens and summer-blooming shrubs and cut them back if needed. Perennial grasses such as liriope can be cut back to prepare for new growth. You will want to be sure not to leave clippings laying. Rake them out so that your new growth has plenty of air and light to produce lush growth.
Take the time to rake up the leaves that have accumulated around beds and along borders so that they don’t smother any of your perennials. Putting the leaves you gather into compost will make them very useful next year. In fact, composting most of your trimmings is always a good idea as compost provides much-needed nitrogen and nutrients to your soil which will benefit your plants. Raking the leaves also will help your lawn to grow lush and green.
February is a good time to spread the love. Spreading fresh mulch or pine needles will give you a head start on the spring weeds, giving you the advantage when they start into their growing season.
Also, don’t forget about the spring songbirds that will be back soon. If you have birdhouses, you may want to clean them out and get ready for the next generation.
Prune your trees. Remove dead limbs, suckers, and limbs that cross. If you are planning to add a tree or shrub, you can do so now also. Bring in spring flowering dormant shrub limbs to put in a vase to force for early blooms, for some spring color indoors.
Get outside in your own yard, in your own space, and leave the mask inside. Breathe some fresh air and soak up some sunshine, even if it is still a little chilly. Sunshine is a good source of vitamin D and is known to fight depression.
The best part is, NO MASK REQUIRED!