First Day of Spring 2017

First Day of Spring 2017

Happy first day of Spring!

If you have lived and gardened in the Calgary area long you know that Spring is our most variable, fickle, and sometimes shortest of seasons.  Be patient, we shall soon be enjoying daffodils, tulips, hepatica, and all the glory of our flowering trees and shrubs.  It was a long but not extremely cold winter so everything should be prepared to put on a show for us.  But while we wait for that, how about a few March considerations:  

Have you got your winter pruning done yet?  There is still time but there is a deadline coming at us with regards to the elm pruning deadline.  Between the dates of April 1 and Sept 30 it is illegal to prune elm trees in Alberta.  Click thru this link for more info:  Elm info  If you aren't sure if you have elms or have pruning questions get in touch with us and we can likely help direct you in the right direction.  It is often best to hire a professional arborist to prune your trees so it is done right, safely, and so you protect your living investment.

March is a time when we get itchy fingers to get into the garden and pull out all the 'dead stuff' and rip and tear at the lawn just as it is emerging from dormancy.  There are many good reasons to enjoy the first few warm days of March, and even well into April, from your patio or deck.  That 'dead stuff' is helping to shelter beneficial insects like lady bird beetles as well as protect tender new shoots from late frosts.  Also the moisture laden soils of early spring are vulnerable to compaction.  Basically, by walking on the soil while it is wet you are destroying the soil structure and removing voids in the soil necessary for air and water movement.  Your patience will be rewarded with a healthier garden.

One task best done sooner than later is cutting back of ornamental grasses like Karl Foerster and the like.  They are cool season grasses and start to push new growth right as their root systems are freed from frost.  Leaving 8” or so of stalk to protect the crown is a good idea and going out early in the morning when the ground is still frozen will protect the soil.  In an upcoming post I’ll show a few images of how to do this as well as why you should have ornamental grasses in your garden.  (spoiler alert: they are just about the perfect garden plant!)

So happy first day of Spring, even if it a little chilly out.  That crusty old snow’s days are numbered.  

About the Author

Clayton Ditzler

Clayton Ditzler

Clayton Ditzler is a Certified Landscape Designer (CLD) and has worked for The Landscape Artist Inc since 1989. He welcomes you to connect with questions or feedback any time.

Contact  phone: 403.256.2252 • email:

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