I don't make this stuff up....This Saturday, May 6th, is the 13th annual World Naked Gardening Day! Luckily for us here, snow is not in the forecast and temperatures are set to be in the low to mid 20's. With that being said, here are a few tips for gardening, whether you partake in the clothed, or clothes-less, variety.
1. Clean out the old garden. That means removing all the old debris, leaves, weeds (to the roots).
2. Revitalize the soil. The soil is likely dried out after winter. You will need to add moisture. Adding organic compost or maure will give that soil a healthy boost. You may need to test your soil to see what nutrients it lacks, and might possibly want to add fertilizer to increase the health of your soil and plants.
3. Trim old plants. Any plants that survived the winter should be pruned and they will grow anew this spring. Pruning might best be done after threat of frost has passed - be sure to check online for advice specific to your plants.
4. Add mulch. In addition to the organic compost and manure, adding a couple inches of mulch to the flower bed will help stave off weeds and disease, and will help retain moisture.
5. Plant new flowers and shrubs. Perennials vs annuals? Perennials will last 3 or 4 years, so are more of a long term investment. They are hearty and normally survive the winter months. Annuals allow you to switch things up. For example, if you are planting annuals, this year you could plant a lot of red and white to help celebrate Canda's 150th. Some other points to plan for:
- Don't forget the bees! If you are planning on planting some bee-friendly flowers, remember to check with the Alberta Invasive Species Council to ensure there are no threats to local species.
- Check whether the flowers may be harmful to your pets - foxglove, for example, is very toxic to dogs and cats!
- Include some edible flowers, like nasturtiums, for pretty summer salads!