I want to call your attention to two events of interest to native plant lovers (and invasive species haters) being held next week.
On Wednesday, March 19, you can attend the second annual New Jersey Invasive Species Conference. Learn about invasive species in New Jersey, what’s being done to control them, and how you can help. This is an all-day conference held at Duke Farms (well worth a trip in itself). Advance registration is required; see the link above.
On Thursday, March 20, at 7:00 p.m., you can hear a talk about native grasses at the monthly meeting of the Bergen-Passaic chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. There will also be a presentation about the NPSNJ’s annual meeting, which was held last Saturday. And there will be refreshments! No advance registration is required–just show up to learn, meet fellow native-plant enthusiasts, and enjoy an informative evening. Again, see the link I’ve provided above for details.
The sap is running, which means that woody plants are breaking dormancy. That in turn means that it’s too late for pruning (except pruning necessary to remove dead or diseased branches, which can be done at any time) but that it IS almost time to plant or move woody plants. I’d wait another week or so, just because the weather has been so cold, but very early spring is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. Roots grow actively as long at the soil temperature is above about 40 degrees. And you can start moving perennials as soon as they break dormancy (you have to be able to see them!). And if you’re like me, you’re waiting impatiently for bare ground so you can sow seeds of early spring greens in the vegetable garden.