I have to say, Spring may be the only time of year I can honestly admit I Really Dig Weeding! Being so cooped up on the east coast all these cold, snowy months, we gardeners are also ready to pop just like leaves, flower buds & weeds!
The ground has been frozen here & the days not so warm. But with mild temps last night & today I jumped at the chance to work in the garden. As I venture outside today it is 69 degrees (but with rain coming it will soon be 38 degrees by tomorrow night!) Yes, that's what you get this time of year ~ a mixed bag of weather (as a verb!). Remember to not get frustrated ~ the joys of Spring are endless. The smell for one - nothing beats a spring rain smell. Also, those first warm days where you say to yourself "it doesn't need to get any warmer than this ~ this is perfect!"
The past two days were my first digging opportunities. Among my digging discoveries today was my prolific weed of the year ~ the wild strawberry. (Yes, I get a new 'weed of the year' annually) It is masterfully disguising itself this year among my Bee Balm. It has the same color right now & growth habit. With each clever plant that was yanked, I felt exhilarated! Face it, you just want to be doing anything outside, that's why weeding can be so enjoyable now, a true stress reliever. With all this said, I know some of us are behind on Spring outdoor cleanup because of the snow & cold, but remembering to take it slowly is important. Here are my tips for a pain-free Spring clean up:
~ Take your time ~ We can't play catch up all in one day! If you feel even a twinge on your back or any other muscles ~ rest! ~ or wait for another day. One to two hour sessions is plenty in the beginning!
~ Alternate chores ~ Rake a bit then weed beds for a bit & alternate. You use different muscles for each chore & this will help keep you from overtaxing certain ones. Remember, we aren't in gardening shape in April!
~ Preserve the knees ~ Remember to sit on a blanket or low bench ~ avoid kneeling or squatting for too long. Also, always have a spade with you to dig out deep rooted weeds. The pulling yanking motion can cause some tendonitis if you are not careful; loosening the roots will help. Making sure the soil is moist from rain will help the process tremendously!
~ All work & no play ~ Allow some strolling along and dream time. This is the dreamiest time of year to visualize what you would like to see, smell & feel in your outdoor spaces. Imagine a color scheme for these pots or this bed. Make sure you jot down your ideas and keep them with you come May when you will be shopping plants. Pantone's Color of the year, marsala (a deep winey red) can translate into the garden quite well. We too often rely on flowers for color, but embrace beautiful leaves this year. Marsala can be found in coleus, heuchera, and succulents. Plant red leaf lettuce now for edible color & red basil in a month. Think outside your usual color box & dig dreaming!~ Soak it up ~ yes, the early not too hot sunshine for vitamin D for one... but I'm also talking a hot bath (see my Mindful Bath blog) for muscle soreness, deep relaxation & more garden visualization & dreaming!