Here it is the 18th of April, still snow in places and wet and cold. The itch to get into the garden and get my fingers dirty is driving me crazy. Getting dirty fingers is one thing but cold, wet, and muddy hands is another. Patience is needed now and must be exercised.
Waiting to get into the garden is hard to do, in fact waiting for all of the outdoor spring activities is hard, but wait we must. There are many problems that arise by trying to get things done too soon. In the garden, especially in more clay heavy soils we can cause clods that will not go away until next spring. These rock hard clods need a couple of freeze thaw cycles to break them back down. In other matters of the soil, many of the beneficial critters are still in winter mode and if we start digging too soon we disturb them and may even cause them to be fatally injured by doing this. Many of these critters need a set soil temperature to thrive and survive. DON'T dig too soon.
In the lawn many of the same types of issues are here, winter resting beneficials are still hibernating and they need a consistent soil temperature to survive, by raking or moving leave piles or mulch around you are exposing them to colder temperatures than they can survive in and you also damage there nests and ultimately the viability of their survival.
Pruning shrubs and trees that have been damaged during the winter will not benefit from pruning too early, sap is flowing and they are working to repair themselves, our good willed medling will only hinder their abilities.
So, what can we do? Pick up the garbage that blew in, sweep the driveway, take down your Christmas decorations, plan your garden and other outdoor projects, anything but disturbing the wonderful nature that is still at rest.