By Pat Farnack

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Today is the first of March and it’s not too early to get a head start on the garden.

The perfect person to ask for advice is Colleen Plimpton, a Connecticut gardener who wrote “Mentors in the Garden of Life”

WCBS 880 midday anchor and Health and Well Being correspondent Pat Farnack asked if it is too early to prune?

“No, it is not too soon to prune,” Plimpton answered. “Get those clippers sharpened, and get out there. And first of all, remove the crossed material, the crossed limbs, and obviously diseased limbs and shape that tree. Shape those shrubs. If the material is larger than we the homeowner are comfortable with, it’s time to get in a professional arborist.”

WCBS 880’s Pat Farnack with Colleen Plimpton
Download the full interview by CLICKING HERE.

If you want to attract birds, clean out the birdhouses.

“Perhaps there’s been some overwintering mice, or even some roosting birds in the birdhouses, and now it’s time to clean them out. Wash them thoroughly with a solution of one percent bleach to ten parts water, and get those birdhouses ready for songbirds that will be coming back to our area. The blue birds are looking already,” says Plimpton.

Don’t forget to document your garden creation!

“As good a gardener as we are, we do not remember everything. We can’t. So, it’s wonderful to get out there. With the digital cameras nowadays, it’s easy! Take a picture every week of what’s happening and what’s not happening, so that we have a timeline, a flow, of what’s occurring in our garden. We’ll use that year after year,” says Plimpton.

She adds that March is a good time to cut back the ornamental grasses, which will look rather pathetic for a while, but they will come back. Also, cut back that unruly butterfly bush to about 18 inches. She promises it, too, will make a comeback.

To learn more about gardening and about Colleen Plimpton, visit her website HERE.

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