In established planting areas, rake off plant debris from winter, divide plants that are too close, fluff up top of soil, feed, and mulch (but not against stem of plants!).
In new planting areas, thoroughly dig and aerate soil with organic compost or manure. If the area was not limed in the last year or so, treat the area with 10# of lime or wood ash per 100 sq.ft. every other year.
To fill in new plants in holes in existing gardens or in a new area, mulch around plants to keep from drying out, and regularly water until plants are established.
Mulch is used to conserve moisture; helps retain fertility of soil; suppresses weeds. But remember: do not put mulch against stem of plants
Mulches sold at Wayside:
Cocoa: apply thinly (1”) every year; good for suppressing weeds; smells good too!
Bark: durable, long lasting; fairly coarse; best used for shrubbery
Buckwheat: refined, long-lasting; neutral mulch; lasts for years; not for windy locations
Dark Harbor: an enriched mulch, with compost
Compost sold at Wayside:
Compost: low concentrated but balanced soil amendment; provides moderate amount of fertilizer
Lobster Blend: compost blend with lots of peat moss; helps with fertility with potting soil in container pots
Penobscot Blend: heavier than Lobster Blend, not as much peat moss
Manure: provides more concentrated feeding but may be acidic and burn plant roots if used excessively
Metro 830 (formerly Fafard 3B) large bag: light and fluffy, no nutrition in it
Smaller bags: have some compost
Peat Moss: helps aerate the soil; beneficial mulch for blueberries, mtn laurels, rhododendrons, and lingonberries