Spring Cleaning!!! Herbs with Miss Jess

As May Day is upon us, many people are doing a bit of spring cleaning at home.  Let us remember to also do the same for our herb gardens.   Now is a great time to get out there and see what activity is taking place in the garden. It’s a great time to clean out any debris and withered leaves and twigs that may have fallen over the winter.  Trim back any herbs that are showing signs of good activity and growth.  A hard pruning in the spring ensures a vigorous more bountiful plant for the coming year.  Avoid cutting into the woody stock of perennial plants, as it can weaken them.  My father always painted the cut ends of any large branches with either wood glue or tar to seal the wound and prevent infection. It’s also the time to take stock of the survivors versus those herbs that have gone to their afterlife.  If you didn’t do so in the fall, clean out any annuals.  Take a look at the perennials, did they make it?  I lost a few things including my beloved blue lavender.  Shed your tears and dig up the dead plants.  Once you’ve done so feed the soil well and water it in so that any new plants will have the nutrients they need to thrive. Make a list and perhaps a diagram of what’s left.  Think about what holes in your collection need to be filled.  Consider this a great opportunity to try something new or a chance to revisit some old favorites.  With list in hand you’ll be ready to head to the nursery for any supplies and plants you need.  With the threat of frost still a possibility, be cautious of putting any new plants in too early. Some people say mother’s day, i say as soon as the nights are 
consistently above 55 degrees.  If you do put them out, think about covering them any night that it is chilly.  Use either newspaper or plastic for this purpose. I hope these tips get you ready for planting season.  May your gardens be green and vibrant in the coming months!

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