Groundhog Day Starts the Garden Season

If you have seen the movie Groundhog Day, you know the theme: if something really matters, keep repeating it until you get it right. As a gardener in NC, this hits home every February when it’s time to venture out into the garden and begin again, repeating the annual gardeners’ rites of Spring – cleaning, pruning, composting, mulching, re-designing – all in an attempt to get it right this year. I’ve ordered my organic vegetable seeds, and my Big Yellow Bag of Soil3 compost. It’s time to put on the gloves, pick up my tools and get to work.

Task List:

Cut back perennials and ornamental grasses

Prune shrubs that bloom on new wood – particularly my roses

Prune fruit trees and Japanese Maples

Identify hops rhizomes to share with beer brewing friends (mmmmm, beer!)

Muck out the water garden

Edge the beds to create that clean line between beds and turf

Top-dress perennial, annual and vegetable beds with compost (I love Super-Sod’s Soil3!)

Clean out containers and add more compost in preparation for new plants (mmmmm, new plants!)

Clean outdoor furniture and yard art

Check landscape lighting and add new bulbs as needed

Pruning Roses Groundhog Day 1 BYB

Have I forgotten anything? I know I have! Will my garden be perfect this year? Of course not, but is that really the point? Every gardener knows the process is more meaningful than the end result. My nails are short, my hands are calloused and scarred, I have lots of sensible shoes and I know my way around tools. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. So out I go to try to get it right…I’ll do the same next year with a smile on my face. Happy Groundhog Day!



4 thoughts on “Groundhog Day Starts the Garden Season

  1. Sarah Jessica Farber says:

    Muck out the water garden, eh? I confess I have no idea what to do with my new pond now. I suppose those water hyacinths aren’t coming back, and so I need to pull them? The puppy dragged a lily out of there and killed it. Off to google!


    • personaledens says:

      In NC, water hyacinths are annuals, so yes, pull them out. Drain or bail out most of your pond, reserving about 1/10th of the water to add beneficial organisms back in after cleaning. If you have any fish or snails, put them into the reserved pond water. Then clean all the decaying leaves and muck out, and rinse down the sides (they may need a bit of scrubbing). If your pond is lined with rock, a good stiff brushing will work well. Then add the reserved pond water back in, and fill to the top, making sure to treat any city water with de-chlorinator (available at most garden centers) to make the water habitable for your critters. Voila! Sparkling clean! This is a dirty task, honestly not one of my favorites, but I buckle down and do it every Spring.


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