Weekend plans


Don’t bother me on Saturday. Or Sunday. It’s probably best not to call any day in March, I’ll be busy cleaning up and tending the garden. Maybe even into mid-April, but positively I’ll be finished and relaxing by the first of May. Unless it rains.

I won’t be visiting family or friends for awhile, and I’ll discourage them from dropping by until this mess is cleaned up. After ice and wet snow wreaked havoc this winter there are additional chores that must be accomplished to get the garden in proper order, and today the task seems overwhelming. But then, it does at the start of every March.

I’ve already begun to saw the fallen branches into smaller sections, and to prune the stubs left behind on the ‘Seriyu’ Japanese maples that were torn apart in the snow. The damage will hardly be noticed by May, but it’s sad to see a pile of branches piled beneath the trees. There are still broken limbs stuck high in the southern magnolias and cryptomerias, and I haven’t a clue as to how I’ll get them out.

There are piles of leaves that must be raked, or vacuumed, or pushed off to a corner to worry about later, though I have worked a few hours on occasion the past few weeks to clear the worst so that the hellebores could be seen as they began to bloom. And the hellebores. I intend to cut back the old, weathered foliage so that the blooms are more evident, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet, and now they’re blooming. Perhaps on Saturday.

If the weather will cooperate I’m anxious to put in a full day of labor. Circumstances have conspired so that I’ve accomplished less through this winter than is usual, perhaps only because I’ve grown older and lazier. Regardless, everything will get done.

After the broken limbs and leaves are picked up, I’ll pull any weeds that have popped up through the winter, though on first glance these don’t appear to be too bad. Perennials will need to be cut back, and for many it is best to do this in March, rather than late in the autumn or through the winter months.

While I was cutting broken limbs with the chainsaw last week I cut back most of the ornamental grasses, and I’ve found that the top side of the blade does the job more efficiently than string trimmers or hedge shears. Certainly this isn’t the safest method, but I’ve yet to cut off any body parts, and speed counts when there’s too much garden and only one poor, old gardener.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jean Sander says:

    Dear Dave,

    I printed out your ‘snow damage’ info. My pinus bungiana lost a huge branch right up to the trunk. It left a terrible wound, about 4-5″, on the main trunk. Do I need to put some ‘tree wound’ on this cavity? Thank you, Jean

    1. Dave says:

      Tree wound fillers and sealants are not recommended. At best they have little positive effect, and in some cases they will cause problems. If you have removed all loose bark and wood surrounding the injury then you have done everything you can to encourage healing and to prevent disease. Due to the severity of the damage the long term survival of the pine is not assured, but trees are tough and resilient and will often overcome difficult circumstances.

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