Spring is right around the corner, which means now’s the time to get reacquainted with your garden and lawn. We caught up with Gabe Valbert, co-owner at GardenSphere in Proctor District Tacoma, and asked for a few spring gardening tips on how to make the most of the transition to the growing season.
“It’s time to get rolling on the cold weather crops,” he says, “like pees, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, leafy vegetables, onions and potatoes. It’s still too early for warm-weather stuff like tomatoes, but you can get started growing starts indoors so they’re ready to go outside once it warms up.”
If you like to maintain a healthy lawn, Gabe suggests applying the first application of lawn fertilizer and lime now, along with moss killer if you want to eliminate moss from your lawn. And if you’re behind on fall cleanup, it’s not too late to prune back overgrown hydrangeas, woody perennials and other plants that have overwintered and need tidying.
“It’s a good time to plant new fruit trees,” he adds, “and also prune and spray fruit trees while they’re dormant.”
Protecting your harvest
GardenSphere sells an organic neem-oil-and-pyrethrin mix that is easy to apply and that will discourage pests. Also available: codling moth and apple maggot traps. If you’ve ever known the heartbreak of watching a bumper crop of apples destroyed by codling moth larvae, you know the value of protecting your harvest.
Other proactive measures worth taking include sprinkling a little slug bait (GardenSphere’s is all-organic) in the garden. And while you’re planting those snap pee seeds, be sure to mix in a little organic matter like fresh compost or aged manure to enrich the soil. Don’t apply it until you’re ready to plant, though. Otherwise, most of it will leach out before your plants take root.
A new garden adventure
Those looking for a new garden adventure might want to consider adding a mason bee house to the garden. “They hatch the same time that the fruit trees open up,” Gabe says, “and increase fruit tree pollination dramatically.” Mason bees are non-aggressive and make friendly garden companions.
Along with selling all the supplies (including the bees) to get you started, GardenSphere sells chickens and supplies. If you’ve ever pondered starting an urban chicken flock, this might be the spring. If you’ve already done so, maybe you’re ready to add to your flock.
As of this writing, GardenSphere customers can take advantage of a $15 coupon toward any tree (good for up to five tree). And if you have a hard time remembering when to schedule lawn maintenance, GardenSphere offers a lawn care package that will help you pamper your lawn from now until November. You pay up front for the service and receive five deliveries throughout the growing season. Don’t know when to fertilize? When to add lime? The lawn care package takes the guesswork out of it—and saves you 25% of the cost were you to buy everything individually.
By MATT KITE for THE HUME GROUP