|Courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography via FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
The past few weeks have been like living in a vortex. Spring has been rushing in and out like a lion running after a bunny. The weather turned inside out with 5 inches of snow dropping on us out of nowhere in the Midwest. After the snow melted, I was able to get outside to welcome some of my new plants popping up while making the difficult decision to say goodbye to so many others.
Spring is such a refreshing, bright, and growing season. For those of us in the north, spring is like a gift with a big green bow on top. It’s a time when we can get outside again to enjoy nature and change. We see things that we forgot about over the winter including wildlife, greens, and even neighbors. Once spring rushes in I feel like I have been given new life and my excitement builds to grow everything around me.
Unfortunately in so many areas of the country spring is a tease and we quickly learn that we may need to protect ourselves and our gardens from the snapping chills or snow. Mother Nature doesn’t always play fair we may need to jump in to save the day. Here are some growth tips for keeping your spring bright and growing.
- Don’t be fooled by warm temperatures. Never plant new plants, especially annuals, until you check dates in your area for when it’s frost free or later in the spring to plant. Check online for proper planting dates or check with your local extension program.
- I love wandering inside greenhouses this time of year to smell the dirt and growth (gardeners understand!). If I do buy something I leave it inside or sheltered deep on my front porch to slowly acclimate the greenery to the cooler temperatures. Don’t bring shrubs out of a greenhouse and into the ground. It’s like dousing yourself in a cold shower and that’s not a positive experience!
- Don’t worry about your spring bulbs or early spring flowers. Bulbs are very hardy and built to survive the ravages of spring. Cut some to enjoy inside and leave the rest to laugh at Mother Nature!
- It’s not too early to dig. There’s a myth out there that you will damage your soil by digging. This is actually a great time to get some digging in while the soil is soft and can actually be moved.
- Some perennials are popping up and it’s a perfect time to divide them with a spade and share with neighbors. You can actually begin to see where you may have holes in your garden and where new plants can be plunked in.
- Look closely at your yard before everything grows up like a jungle. This is the time to pull out trees and shrubs that have started to attack their neighbors or your house. They will come out easily and you will have time to plan what will go in next.
- You can easily see the lines of gardens beds now. Get out and shape them with a shovel and pull out more grass to add more plants.
- Pull out dead flowers from pots and fluff the soil or refill with fresh rich soil. It’s easier to do it now rather than when you are overly eager to get planting and throw caution to the wind and do a sloppy job with your soil.
- Keep feeding your feathered friends. It may look greener out however, there isn’t enough foliage to feed the birds while they build nests and need extra energy.
- Get weeding now! I am always shocked how weeds can grow under the snow. Pull them as soon as possible and keep it up like a marathon because the spring weeds are the ones that sneak up on you and make your life miserable.
Spring isn’t just for gardening. It’s also a time for renewal and growth in our personal and professional lives. It’s a great time to pick up those growth goals that you forgot about that were declared in January and put them into action. I don’t know about you, but I feel so much more motivated and energized in the spring. There’s more daylight and the warmer days perk me up. People seem happier and even more accommodating to work on projects or support others.
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending” – Maria Robinson
Why spring is THE time to focus on your own renewal and growth
- Annual performance reviews have been in full swing (I know, yuck). This is an opportune time to focus on growth areas and make changes. Pick just 2-3 items at the most for focus because your brain will throw in the towel if you challenge it too much.
- Employers are in full hiring mode. Maybe now is the time to make a job change or even jump into a whole new field. The improved economy may be an opportunity to go part-time or start that side business you have been dreaming of.
- More people are eager to network or dig into some learning opportunities with the weather more encouraging and the increased daylight keeping us awake. Take advantage of events like Network After Work, industry career events, or check out Meetup.com to find something in your area.
- Be brave and try something new. How about yoga? Join a bike club? Find a reading group. I want to learn how to meditate so it is a focus for me this season.
- Find a new lunch table. Stop eating with your normal group of peeps and fan out. Meet some new people in other areas to grow friendships and learn something new. You never know where it will lead.
- Change one thing that you don’t like about yourself. Work on a more positive attitude. Be more emotionally engaged. Put yourself first for a change. Finally do one thing to impact your health.
- Just as we organize plants in the garden in groups of 3, organize your personal space or work area. Better yet, move things around, including yourself if you can, for a fresh start and change.
- Look around you and pick one person this spring that you can really impact and grow. Maybe you see potential in a coworker or friend. Really focus on helping them grow where they are planted. It will be the most wonderful gift that you can offer someone. Moreover, it will be the best gift that you can give yourself.
- Fertilize yourself every day with knowledge. Pick up a book and read 30 minutes a day. Staring at your computer or getting lost in social media does not count. Leaders are readers and books won’t bite!
Come on! Don’t be a stick in the mud this spring. Get out there and grow!