DENVER — I do this every year - scrounging around in the garden looking for signs of life. The first crocus or snowdrop is a cause for celebration. Alas, there’s not much yet, and after that brutal cold spell, you can’t blame the bulbs for staying underground.
Even though I’m itching to do some garden clean-up, I’m holding back. It’s best to wait as long as possible. There may be butterfly cocoons attached to dead stems and leaves.
However, you can get prepared for the clean-up. Sharpen your pruners. Check the condition of any tubs you use. Several of mine are no longer usable - duct tape can only do so much. These tubs are indispensable for hauling debris to the compost pile.
If big tubs take up too much room in your garage or shed, try garden pop-up bags. They are a great space-saving option.
I never knew how much I needed a wagon until I got one as a birthday present. During the summer, it is in constant use. They are very handy for lugging around bags of potting soil and flats of plants.
How do you haul around your garden tools? I’ve tried tool belts and sticking them in my pockets. It's not very efficient. A lightweight bucket works best for many of us. You can cram in almost everything you need.
Take inventory of your garden stakes. Bamboo stakes have been in short supply the past few years. Snatch them up whenever you see them at the garden center. Twist ties are equally as important. The soft-coated wire ones are great because they don’t cut into plant stems.
Even as we eagerly anticipate spring's arrival - be prepared for losses. Those spells of brutal cold that have been well below zero may have caused some real damage. Perennials that are only marginally hardy may have died, and trees that were already drought-stressed may be damaged. Let’s hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
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