3 things to do before winter’s over
H AVING TROUBLE WAITING, BUDDHA-LIKE, FOR SPRING? Me, too. Busy hands are happy hands, my grandmother said, so I’m assigning myself tasks to make the dreaded month of February feel more productive, not actual horticultural chores yet because of the lingering snow, but things like these:
Hoard cardboard: I’ve stopped putting my corrugated boxes from packaging and other plain cardboard out for recycling. I’ll stockpile all that arrives from now onward, breaking down the boxes and stashing the resulting panels as future weed-smothering, under-mulch control. Learn how it works.
Order asparagus: There are some weak stretches in my long row of asparagus, spots where for some reason the old plants just aren’t performing any longer. Time to order more, and maybe plan for another row. Asparagus is an investment crop that pays back for years to come; get started planning your patch now.
Go on the offensive: I saw mole, mouse or vole trails in the snow this week, the first in awhile, so I’m tripling up on mousetraps baited with peanut butter in all sheds, by the house foundation, in the basement, and anywhere in the yard that I see their runs. I read recently that it’s best to leave them baited but not set for a few days, to get the creatures’ confidence. Here’s my own how-to.
One more thing, a “don’t:” If your place is out from under snow or ice, you have my envy…but also my warning: Don’t start stomping around on lawns or beds if the ground is sodden and squishy. Frozen is fine, but not where your feet leave their mark. The damage you’ll do will exceed the value of whatever real chores you manage to accomplish. Busy yourself with these other faux chores while you (and I) wait. Be patient, like the Buddha.