Shop Talk : Spring planting with Jardin Mahoney's
Photo by Susan Safford
Spring is just around the corner with an official start on Sunday, March 20, at 7:21 pm. You can start planning now though, for your yard, with a visit to Jardin Mahoney in Oak Bluffs. Paul Mahoney, who owns Jardin Mahoney with his wife Linda, took some time this week to offer a few helpful hints to get your lawn and gardens ready for spring.
"First, after cleanup, is lawns — now is the time to start, especially if you have crab grass. You should be treating your lawn with a pre-emergent crab grass control. I recommend a bag of Jonathan Green Crab Grass Control with Green-Up. Your cost for this would be based on the square footage of your lawn."
To help you always remember when to start working on your lawn, Mr. Mahoney suggests thinking, "when the Forsythia blooms, you should be taking care of your crab grass." That is, if you do not like crab grass.
Another important element for your lawn is lime. "As soils here on the Island are naturally acidic, almost everyone can use some lime to make a big difference. The most commonly used lime is pellet-ized lime in which you use a 40-pound bag per 1,000 square feet. You can do this anytime in the spring and the rule of thumb is to do it once in the spring, then again once in the fall."
He also recommends, "When you are completing your clean-up in your flower and vegetable gardens, it is a good time to add some compost into your dirt [compost will enrich your soil with much needed nutrients that will prompt plant growth]. Typically people will use cow manure, though a popular brand is the Coast of Maine Lobster Compost, which we carry as it is really good stuff."
If you are not sure what to use, the Jardin Mahoney staff is there to help with choices. In fact, Mr. Mahoney says, "Our staff loves any type of question."
If you want to add some color to your garden this spring, think bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. "Now is the perfect time to think about your spring bulbs," Mr. Mahoney says. "People do get confused about spring and fall bulbs, as you generally plant your spring blooming bulbs in the previous fall season. However, if you forgot to plant your bulbs last fall, it is still not too late. You can plant in the ground now through forced [potted] bulbs, which we have a large selection of arriving in the next week or two."
Another hot ticket right now is fruit trees, which are a big thing and are arriving on this Thursday, March 17. "We have a lot of varieties to choose from. If you are new to fruit trees or find them intimidating, don't be, even though they can be a lot of work to produce good fruit," he advises. "We have more and more organic products, especially for insect and disease problems, so you can make your own orchard worry-free. We have a whole section of all organic products to help you in any phase of your garden and yard. One thing for people who are looking to start their own orchard — peaches and plums are the easiest in our climate. From the trees that we sell, a person should figure two years to get a good crop."
Mr. Mahoney would also like to remind everyone that they have a large selection of vegetable and flower seeds, and plenty of gardening supplies.
I would highly recommend a visit to their nursery, along with a look at their website JardinMahoney.com, as it holds great information. They have a way to sign up for their emails (which contains upcoming sales information), current specials, tips to help you complete certain tasks (currently it has tips for seed-starting indoors and how to prep your lawns for spring), a way to register with their Garden Rewards program known as VIG Rewards (Very Important Gardener), along with the ability to leave comments (Paul and Linda always welcome feedback), along with so much more. Happy gardening.
Jardin Mahoney is located at 45 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Rd. (on the corner of Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Rd. and County Rd., in Oak Bluffs. They are open 9 am to 5 pm seven days a week from now until Christmas. You may also reach them via phone at 508-693-3511.