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A Bea in the Garden column: Hopefully, spring is here to stay

Bea Westerberg may be contacted at bea.in.the.wool@gmail.com.

I will have to get over my funk that spring is not going to get here and I am perfectly okay to stay inside and drink tea and bake cookies.

I walked down our driveway in shoes without cleats for the first time in months and there were absolutely no ice chunks to kick or slip on. Then I saw a real miracle! The area that was covered with at least a foot of snow last week now is showing daffodil plants that are about six inches tall! They have never been uncovered since the first snowfall so they have been doing all of this under the cover of snow.

Sitka the Siberian husky must be suffering from a severe overload of spring smells as his nose is permanently attached to the sky.

I must confess that I have been outside without my jacket and I have made a few barefoot trips around the yard.

Wait to rake

I will have to tell you not to rake your lawn until it dries out and the soil warms up but that is usually my speech in March, I am sure that spring fever is going to make almost everyone rush out and start raking. Truly, I will not feel bad if you're ignoring my advice but please let those faded plastic flowers from last year rest in peace and get a new batch for this year. Okay?

Patience will pay off

This crazy year of weather is really making it hard for me to decide what to write about for gardening. I had convinced myself not to get all roared up about spring and doing outside work.

In years past, we would have to be holding ourselves back and hiding the car keys so we were not rushing out to every greenhouse or plant sales store to buy things to put in our already prepared garden beds. Oh me, Oh my, what is person to do?

If the weather keeps on its improvement path, including cancelling all snow storms until fall, I see things exploding on all fronts.

Hopefully our bodies will be able to take all that force needed to do a month or two's work in a week or so.

I think my flowerbeds that still had four feet of snow as of last Saturday will not be strutting their stuff for a while, so that will mean fewer things to do in the first garden outings. I think the one word of wisdom for the next several weeks should be "control." Perhaps a better way of saying that would be to not try to do everything in one day!

Ready, set, go. Most of us will be ready; I might even be by the time you read this!

There are also a lot of stages of set and go in these operations but I will do a general rundown.

If you have decided to start plants indoors, it is getting a bit late to do so but by no means impossible. A large number of things seem to "catch-up" without a problem. Something's work out good to be planted in June at which time you may have normally been planting the seeds outdoors. Remember, there are hundreds of places selling plants that are depending on your business so, don't worry. You're covered.

Be sure you have cleaned up your kingdom and it's ready to shine. If you did not cut back your plants last fall, I think it is safe to uncover and cleanup just about anything. Be sure to keep any necessary markers.

If you have a site that is subject to a lot of road snow, there is going to be a lot of salt and sand that will need to be removed. Another BIG one is animal repair and those of you have pets know just what I mean. Your pet has had to go potty someplace for the last six months, after all.

My friend Val also reminded me that she is dealing with vole repairs on a large scale in her backyard. Now would also be a good time to be sure all your gardening tools are first of all located and then sharpened and/or put in a handy place to be available.

Getting your soil ready could cover many books of information. If you already have things in place, a general refreshing will get you by. If you are just starting you will need muscle, friends with knowledge and YouTube and don't try to do the imperial gardens in one year.

Nature's golden gift to us is compost and if you are revving up for a more than a pot or two or garden soil, be sure you have composting high on your list of things to check into and/or do.

Pruning in the spring is a good time to shape your plants and this is commonly included in the clean-up stage. Just be sure you know a few facts about your plants.

A number of them will not need to be pruned until after they bloom. Otherwise, you will not be seeing any flowers. For all trees, the dormant season is always the best time to prune; apples to prevent fire blight, oaks to prevent oak wilt, or wait until July or later to prevent oak wilt.

Then it's time to plant and we are told to purchase wisely. Now that can bring about as much discussion as politics or what to name a new baby. You made it this far and there is always next year. Go for it and enjoy!