When someone mentions green this time of year, you may think of St. Patrick’s Day, leprechauns, four-leaf clover, or the green hills of Ireland. But this tradition goes beyond St. Patrick and his holiday.
The Irish Tradition of Green
Long before green became associated with St. Patrick’s Day, the ancient Celts wore green in celebration of the Vernal Equinox and the rebirth of the earth. And who could blame them? Known as the Emerald Island, Ireland’s principal color is green. Some even claim that the island boasts over 40 shades of that beloved color. As time passed, the wearing of green came to symbolize Irish nationalism. Today, people all over the world wear green once again to celebrate the coming of spring.
For those of us who aren’t lucky enough to enjoy the green hills of Ireland on a daily basis, here are some tips to help you bring that Irish green into your landscape this spring.
- Clear–rake up any leftover leaves from fall, pick up any broken branches from winter. If thatching is a problem, use a rake or a power thatcher to clear away the problem.
- Prune–trim back fruit trees and summer blooming bushes (including roses). Pruning encourages new growth and allows the plant to receive plenty of sunlight.
- Weed–it’s best to stop the weeds when they’re young. After removing new spring growth, take preventative measures (i.e. landscape fabric, mulch, pre-emergent herbicides, etc.) to limit weed growth throughout the season.
- Divide–make sure your perennials have plenty of room to grow. If things are getting a little tight, divide them up. Your neighbors would probably love some, or maybe there’s a spot in your yard that’s looking a little bare. Whatever the case, your plants will bloom better with that extra room to grow.
- Plant–bring color and new life to your yard by adding some new plants to the mix.
- Fertilize–if you have a well-established lawn, spring is a great time to fertilize. Pick a fertilizer with a slow-release nitrogen (nitrogen help keep your lawn green, but too much can cause damage to your lawn and the environment—especially water sources—so make sure you use it sparingly).
- Water–it’s important that you don’t over or under water your lawn, as both cause problems. At this time in the watering season, you will most likely not need to water your lawn every day. Rather, set your timer to water less frequently and allow the moisture to soak deep into the soil and establish a stronger root system.
- Grow–let your grass grow. Your lawn will be healthier if you don’t cut it too short. By letting your grass grow about 2 to 4 inches in length, you will protect the roots from the sun and disease, which will keep your lawn greener and healthier.
These tips will help keep your landscape lush and green this spring. So, here’s to wishing you the luck of the Irish!