Spring Gardening in Vancouver

[blockquote author=”Mark Twain” float=”left”] In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours. [/blockquote]

By March, after the coolest days of winter are behind us, we should start to think about feeding our flower gardens and borders. All of our bigger and hardy plants like fruit trees, shrubs, hedges, roses, and vines are ready to be fertilized. Remember to use quality organic fertilizers. As well, if you’re planning to plant any of these types new this season, remember to include bonemeal, peat moss, manure or your own compost when planting, and don’t forget that new plants need frequent watering.

Some of our favorite bordering plants like rhododendrons, azaleas, heather and camellias love acidic soil. If you have these types of plants, you can treat them with a liquid fertilizer that is high in acid, which will ensure lush green foliage and abundant flowers.

Spring is the season to enjoy your flowering bulbs such as tulips and daffodils, but remember to hold off on trimming them until the foliage is yellowing as this process is feeding the bulb for next year. You can do moderate pruning on some varieties of climbers like summer-blooming clematis, but don’t prune the spring-blooming varieties until after they flower. The same goes for spring-blooming shrubs like forsythia, magnolia and lilac: be patient and wait until after their flowers have fallen.

As a rule, you can prune your roses when your daffodils begin to bloom, which is usually in mid March. Rose plants also love dry Epsom salts rubbed into the soil at the base of the plant.

Staying on top of your weeds will always be one of your biggest challenges in spring. It’s always best to attack your weeds early and pull them out before they have a chance to flower and go to seed.

Spring is the recommended time to plant summer-flowering bulbs, roots, and tubers. The winter-hardy varieties like lilies and hostas can usually be planted by early March while the less hardy types like dahlias and gladiolas can wait until April. You’ll need to wait until May to bring out most of your annuals. Popular flowering plants like begonias and geraniums are generally started indoors from February on and then get transplanted outdoors sometime around Mother’s Day.