Help Protect Iris from Borers
Iris borers are the larvae of certain moths, and they can destroy iris plantings. The moths lay eggs in the fall in dead flower stalks, and the eggs hatch in the spring. The young larvae bore down to the rhizome, introducing bacteria that cause a soft rot. To remove these overwintering iris borer eggs, remove old iris foliage now and dispose of it.
Celebrate Arbor Day
Plan to plant a tree in celebration of Arbor Day, April 25. Consider wildlife-friendly trees and shrubs. Fruiting plants, such as crabapple, serviceberry, mountain ash, and viburnum, will attract birds; honeysuckle will draw hummingbirds.
Remove protective mulches from perennial beds, taking care not to injure young sprouts. Prune away last year's growth and gently rake out beds, and remove organic debris to the compost pile. Wait to apply decorative mulch until plants are up and growing strong.
Although some plants may have succumbed to this winter's extreme cold, be patient before digging up and replacing perennials. Some plants sprout much later than others. Wait for shrubs to leaf out, then prune away winter-damaged twigs.
Remove mulch from fall-planted garlic. If you didn't get around to planting last fall, plan to plant some this spring -- but vow to remember to plant garlic this coming fall, since fall-planted garlic provides a bigger, better harvest.