Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Winter Chores, Winter Blooms

I have been very busy in the garden lately. "Busy in the garden, at this time of year?" you might say. This is a perfect time of year to get many important garden chores done. I have been focusing on pruning my fruit trees (apple, peach, pear and fig) and getting all but the fig trees sprayed with an organic dormant oil to smother overwintering pests (the figs do not need it). I did another clean up of the "orchard floor," that is I raked up all remaining leaves, peach pits and twigs, again to get at overwintering pests and diseases. I also made sure all remaining "mummies" (dried, dessicated fruits that harbor fungal spores) were off of the trees and in the trash. My next set of chores involve turning and "waking up" my compost pits, cutting back any post-fruiting raspberry canes and WEEDING- this has been a terribly warm winter and the weeds have loved it. Other general garden chores at this time of year include general clean up and preparation for planting peas (which intend to do as soon as I can!)
In the meantime, think of shrubs you can plant for an early floral show next year. If you want some early blooms to chase winter woes away, here are some plants I see blooming early in the spring in central VA, and even earlier this year due to our warm weather:
Fragrant wintersweet
Daphne (very fragrant)
Flowering quince (photo above)
Hellebores (Christmas or Lenten rose)
Witch hazel

Thanks to The Washington Gardener to remind me of early spring bloomers for the mid-Atlantic states (go to:
http://washingtongardener.blogspot.com/2012/02/early-season-bloomers-for-mid-atlantic.html ) This is a lovely, free online publication and the current issue has a more complete listing.

Happy gardening!

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