Spring Clean Up

It’s no secret that this past long, hard winter has wrecked havoc on gardens in the Tahoe Basin, some more than others.  While the snow is gone for most properties at lake level, those gardens at higher elevations or along the west shore are still waiting to see what’s under the lingering snow.  I am one of those and I’m anxiously waiting to see all of it.  But while waiting, clean up can start, albeit small sections at a time.

Some clean up things to remember:

As soon as you can, start raking, gently, your flowerbeds.  New growth seems to be popping up the minute the snow retracts, having to wait extra long.  Go gentle in your raking so as not to damage any of that new growth.

Take inventory of plants, shrubs, and irrigation lines.  Prune any branches that have cracked over the winter.  If you can save them, by taping it to the main branch, then do that.  Repair any sprinkler heads or drip lines.

Nurseries are just starting to open up so this is a good time to get some soil amendments.  The soil in Tahoe is mostly decomposed granite and it needs help to be healthy for plants to thrive. If you wait until May, most nurseries will offer a ‘Buy 3, get the 4th bag free’ deal.  Take advantage of that.  If you don’t use it this spring, it will keep until this fall or next year.

Although the weather might be warm right now, remember you live in the mountains. It’s extremely tempting to run out and buy plants but it is probably too early.  Anything you plant now will very likely get dinged later.  The last frost could be as late as June.  If you plant perennials or veggies, make sure you can protect them when the nightly temps hit below freezing.  Don’t even think about buying annuals.

Do your cleanup now and get your garden ready.  Summer will be here soon enough.