Locals are already talking about the spring gardening advice in today's WaPo, judging from what not one but TWO clients said to me today. Both asked: Do we REALLY have to do that?
The relevant quotes:
Tulips are best dug as their leaves yellow and brown. Lay them in the
sun to dry for about two weeks, protected by chicken wire cages if
wildlife is a problem. When the bulbs dry, knock off soil, separate the
bulbs and place them in a porous bag with vermiculite to keep dry. Store
them in a cool, dry location until replanting in November.
Fertilize deciduous shade trees only if you didn't fertilize them last
fall. Use a general-purpose fertilizer that's not too high in nitrogen.
(Formulations of 5-10-5 or 10-6-4 are good.)… And incorporate organic material into the root zones of plants. It
helps tree roots retain moisture and increases soil's ability to hold
nutrients. One inch of compost around the root system at tree base is
the perfect complement to fertilizer.
Insects are waking up now, and disease-causing organisms that were
dormant in winter are emerging. Spray dormant-oil insecticide or
fungicide. Spraying now will ensure the least negative impact on the
environment by reducing the need for additional spraying during the
Of course I assured both clients that no, they do NOT have to dig and store tulips, fertilize all their trees or spray their garden with insecticides and fungicides. I do NONE of those things myself and my plants are all just fine, thank you.
But I need a reality check here. Readers?