Getting ready for spring

Dear friends,
It looks like the weather is going to break this weekend and according to the farmers’ almanac it’s time to get going for spring. Per an old wives tale when spring comes in like a lion it’ll go out like a lamb. And boy here in Virginia Beach it’s done just that.

I have a lot of stuff that needs to be done to get ready for my spring garden. The first thing to do is clean everything and I mean everything. This weekend I will wash down the house and start putting the finishing touches on the new flower bed. If you work slow and don’t try to do too much then you’ll have a nice yard that’s free of bugs with lots of beautiful flowers and birds.
I’ll be both selling plants and giving away seeds. I usually have a lot of marigolds in my yard. I like marigolds for several reasons. The first and best is that they keep mosquitoes away. They don’t like the smell. Be careful not to buy the hybrid types of marigolds. They don’t have the same pungent smell that the non hybrid forms have. There showy and look nice but they neither keep the mosquitoes away nor attract butterflies. Let your nose rule when you purchase marigolds. Yes smell them. If they aren’t pungent smelling then don’t buy them, and never buy plants that have lots of blooms. Choose the plant that isn’t root bound or have a lot of blooms.

The other reason I plant so many marigolds is that they attract monarch butterflies. They love marigolds and water. They like other flowers too but I have been too lazy in years gone by to plant anything else. I don’t even have a butterfly bush yet. I add something new every year and try not to over do it. I want to keep attracting the things that I know will come back. Like the butterflies and the ducks as well as hummingbirds.

So start cleaning. I start from the top of my house. Here in Virginia Beach we have a problem with mosquitoes, so now is the time to start that fight. I have an attachment for my hose I got from BJ’s a couple of years ago. It looks like one of those wands you see in a car wash, with a place to put car washing detergent. I don’t use it for that. I take either lemon dish detergent or lemon ammonia and put it in the reservoir. Don’t put both in the reservoir, it creates a toxic reaction. I wash the entire house with the detergent. I wash the eaves, the gutters, the siding, everything on our property. I wash my benches, shed, pool, patio furniture, and even the bird bath with the detergent. You shouldn’t rinse with plain water; the rain will do that for you in time. Just make sure you rinse your windows good. The soap will make your windows streak. Still wash everything except the family dog with soap…

You see for what ever reason bugs don’t like the lemon detergent. I usually only have to do this one time a year. I try to do it as soon as the weather breaks and I know that there won’t be anymore freezing days. You don’t have to wash your garden. I have a special mixture that I use in the garden that’s really good. It kills the bugs, and prepares the soil. I’ll tell you about that later.

So anyway I’ll be cleaning up this weekend. Not only that if I have time I’ll start raking all the pine straw out of my beds. I find that pine needles make my garden too acidic. I don’t have azaleas so my soil doesn’t need it.

Any way, take care. Time to get out and play in the dirt…………….15 Days till spring……………………….

No comments: