Plummeting temperatures last night had everyone scrambling here in north central NJ and beyond. Everyone is concerned about their flowering plants that have begun a gorgeous show. In case you are wondering, your spring bulbs should be fine in regards to the freezing temps. They could even stand a little snow (shh, don’t say that too loudly).
This week we are talking about how attractive those delicious spring flower bulbs look to the marauding deer on your property. Spring is the most critical time when deer begin to browse for food. Beware, they may be lurking, but then again, this winter they may have never left because it was so warm.
Deer LOVE Tulips and they will devour this “buffet”. Unless you have an 8’ fence or plan on installing one, don’t waste your money. Deer can easily jump a 6’ fence.
Best deer resistant bulbs include Daffodils, Hyacinths and Crocus. Many people limit themselves to just these three biggies, but there are several other interesting choices. Allium, Chinodoxa, Galanthus (Snowdrops), Hyacinthoides (Squill), Pushkinia and Leukojum.
Another really interesting deer resistant is Frittilaria. While these can be a bit “stinky”, they are deer often rodent resistant. Strategically place these dramatic bulbs around the perimeter of your property or on the deer path to divert the pesky animals from coming further onto your property. They come in creamy whites to deeper and louder colors, are non-fussy and easy to grow.
Here are some of the things you should be thinking about in the garden this week:
• Since Forsythia is in bloom, now is the time to apply crabgrass preventative in the lawn.
• Keep a close eye on new veggie seedlings and thin as necessary
• Trim and deadhead any and all perennials to 3”
• Hack away at those gigantic Butterfly bushes and confidently cut them to 18” tall.
• Inspect your ground for grubs in and around your lawn and under tree beds. Plan to treat them.
• Buy local honey to reduce allergies from the profusely blooming tree buds and flowers
• Keep a close eye on the weather and either lightly cover or bring in annuals that you have already bravely planted in pots. Pansies should be fine
• Take pictures of your spring bulbs to document areas where you can add more. Note these areas so you can add more in the fall.
This week’s outing is a suggested visit to the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) web site. Invite your spouse and kids to join you to look for local sources to buy local honey. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, a tablespoon of local honey every day will help deter allergies from spring pollen. Try adding honey to your coffee! Enjoy the journey and be sure to tell us about your visits and adventure…beekeepers are a fun lot! http://www.nofanj.org/Posted%20PDFs/NOFANJ_FarmGuide_2011.pdf