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Gardening Thoughts for April First

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Today it’s dumping rain in soggy Seattle gardens. On the other coast, there’s snow on the ground. It’s April; that’s what happens even if we really just want the sun to come out and warm us up. Despite the weather, those darn plants still keep growing & sprouting. And, the gardening chore season really begins to ramp up.  To help you out, here’s a quick list of what to start doing in your garden today:

  1. Platanus nofolia

    Platanus nofolia

    Get out there and top your trees. That’s right. Shear those shrubs down to a nub and randomly cut the tops off of all your trees right now. Or cut them into circles, squares and rectangles ’cause this is how plants really grow in nature. If you do this now, you’ll get lots and lots of new, weak growth everywhere. And, you’ll get the added chore of cutting them again and again and again to try to maintain the work you do today. Yay – more gardening chores, right? Plus, your trees will look really bad, especially next winter when they’re bare. Just think: when you cut those lavender down really hard to the ground, hopefully they just won’t come back anymore to bother you with their aroma and blooms this summer. Be sure you don’t cut any woody plants to a point of origin; that would simply make your garden look too good and be too healthy. Leave all the dead wood intact for rats to nest in and wind to catch in. And whatever you do, be sure to cut off every flower bud on your fruit trees. This will ensure you don’t get one piece of fruit this summer!

  2. Stomp all over your beds.
    Pinus diskus (or Pinus disgustus)

    Pinus diskus (or Pinus disgustus)

    Heck do a rain dance all over them! When they’re saturated and frozen, that’s the best time you can get out in the garden and do the most damage to your soil structure. Be sure to get out there today and really jump up and down hard at the base of your plants to compact the soil. Oh, and if you’re lucky, you’ll crush an emerging lily or hosta while you’re doing your April showers two-step.

  3. Rake out all of your composted mulch topping the beds. You know how you spent hours last fall carefully covering your beds with composted mulch to help protect roots, retain water and deter weeds? Well, today’s the day to just rake it all up. Go ahead and put it in the trash can to send to the dump where it will never decompose. Raking your beds bare will help expose lots of weed seeds and encourage them to keep on growing.
  4. Don’t pull your weeds. Instead let them flourish in the spring light and warming temperatures. This will guarantee you have a great crop of weed seeds, lots of strong tap roots, and more weeds than you know what to do with for years to come.

Oh, did I mention? Happy April Fool’s Day!

You figured that out, right?

Do exactly the opposite of what’s suggested above, and your garden should thrive once the sun really does come out for spring!

4 comments on “Gardening Thoughts for April First

  1. Joe Lamp'l on

    I loved this! And the tree topping idea? Brilliant. I’m off to top my trees right now. Apparently, my neibhors already knew this since they’ve been topping their trees for years. Why am I always the last to know???
    Thanks for the laugh.

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