ZAK: Welcome to The Best Advice Show where everyday a different guest offers a little morsel of wisdom for you.
ALICE: Hi, this is Alice Bagley from Detroit, Michigan where I am a gardener and biker and time-banker and probably some other things. My advice today is to wait to clean-up your garden until it's warmer. Here in Detroit we're having a warm spell. Its gotten up to 60 or 70 degrees the past few days but it's gonna get cold again and if you clean up all the leaves and sticks and other brush in your garden you can clear away the eggs and cocoons of a bunch of insects that we like such as butterflies and preying mantises and lovely, native bees. So if you can you should wait to clean up your garden.
ZAK: But, Alice says, if you feel like you need to be more productive in your garden. There are some things you can do, like...
ALICE: Prune your fruit trees and your bushes. This is the right time of year to do that. There's a bunch flower seeds that actually like to go through freeze/thaw cycles. Especially wildflowers so you can put some seeds around to do that. If you must plant some thing which I totally feel that too, some seeds you can plant this time of year are peas, carrots, beets, spinach, salad greens. You can also look in your vegetable garden to see if some stuff lived through the winter like spinach usually does and I was able to find some beets and carrots out in the garden too. So if you do have to clear-off the garden you put on your mulch, like maybe you put down some leaves and straw, you can just clear them off of the place where you're gonna plant things. You don't have to clear your whole garden out. You can just push the leaves or straw off to the side, plant the seeds that you want to plant and hopefully it will be more spring-like soon when the temperature is more reliably above 40 or 50 degrees everyday. That's the time of year to start clearing out your garden beds and all the old, dead plants from last year.