Kick Start Your Spring Garden in the Cowichan Valley
The Cowichan Valley has been blanketed in a pristine white cloak for most of February which has made Spring feel like a lifetime away. However, now is the time to plan your spring garden by bringing in splashes of colour while you await the warmer weather.
Your garden is slowly exposing the soft ground beneath the melting snow; a perfect time to turn the soil. March is the time to prepare your garden with fertilizing, pruning, and planting.
Here are 4 ways you can get a head start on your garden this year:
Start by weeding and raking up debris from winter winds, rains, and snow. Many of us lost branches and limbs from trees and shrubs from the weight of the snow. Prune away these winter-killed branches and any dead blooms you overlooked in fall.
This is a good time to thin and transplant to fill in bare spots. Hostas are a popular accent in many of our gardens, these can be broken up into smaller groups by digging the whole plant out and breaking it up at the roots.
Top garden beds, flower pots, and baskets with a mixture of compost, bonemeal, peat moss, manure, and nutrient rich soil. Keep in mind that annuals don’t survive if temperatures are too cool. Follow recommended planting dates for the best results; the Cowichan Valley is Canada’s only Maritime Mediterranean Climatic Zone. This means we have the warmest mean year-round temperature in the country. (It sure doesn’t feel that way this year!)
Add spectacular colour to your front entrance with a planter of primulas, pansies, drocus, snowdrops, which hazel, bulbs, primroses, and perennials. Seeing the flowers of spring rejuvenates the spirit! Many of our local garden centres already have these flowers and more in stock. Talk to the experts at the shop about the best time to plant these beautiful blooms. Locally owned Dinter Nursery offers many free tutorials and “ask an expert” events.
Plant vegetables that are cool weather hardy Some of the vegetables that can handle the Cowichan Valley spring are green onions, fennel, kale, parsnip, arugula, chard, cabbage, artichokes, broccoli and cauliflower.
We’re very lucky to have the mild climate that the Cowichan Valley offers, even if we do get a little snow now and again. Getting outside in the garden is good for your health and the sooner you start preparing for Spring, the more you can sit back and enjoy your garden when it arrives!