We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As the last snows mostly melt, the soil defrosts a bit, and the blackbirds return, it's time to fertilize flowering shrubs and trees and perennial beds in Yankeeland. Any further snows will be short-lived.
Remember that roots of grasses, perennials, shrubs, and trees begin growing long before green shoots appear. By the time growth appears, it's sort-of too late for plants' spring feeding - especially woody plants. It takes a while for the food to get into the soil, and even longer to get down to the roots and then up into the plant.
Rain is required. I cheat and put Preen on the perennial beds. It's not perfect, but it helps. For shrubs and roses, I use a stick to poke a 6-10" hole near the drip line, and pour some all-purpose fertilizer in there. Just like Jesus' fig tree parable.
If you got too busy to do it in the fall, now is the time. I did my shrubs, roses, gardens, boxwoods, and lawns yesterday, and used up an old bag of Hollytone and an old left-over bag of lawn dolomite (lime) too. I have hollies and hybrid Rhodies in sheltered spots and a few Azaleas too where they are well-protected from winter winds even though we are north of the hybrid Rhodie and Azalea happy zone. North of the Holly zone too, but I love my hollies and the birds do, too.
Heck, I can even get good hardy Crepe Myrtles to thrive here if they are well-sheltered and against the house. Green thumb, or dumb luck? They are well-sheltered, and close to walls and foundations. When they are in bloom up here in August, people wonder what the heck they are because they are a southern shrub/tree.
Need to remember to get my lawns plugged in early June, but I will probably forget to do it because it makes for a week of muddy dog paws on the beds and couches. A hard-packed lawn is an unhappy lawn, and our local tool-rental place rents lawn-pluggers. Fortunately, I decrease our lawn size every time we add a new garden. That's good - but weeding and mulching new gardens is bad. Too hard. In a while I will mulch the heck out of the gardens and let summer do what it will.
We may be the same latitude as Maine, but thank you Japan Current - we have rhodies and azaleas galore in the PNW, plus a magnolia in our case. A bit less than exuberant over the past few years, but nice. Still, I'm thinking of ripping out the front garden (rhodies, azalea, heathers) and replacing it with something different and sunnier - grasses, lavender, rosemary, rock roses, etc. We shall see.
The tropical plants, like citrus and palm trees, have been hit hard the past two or three years in Tucson with cold nights in winter. We had a water line in the wall of the house rupture from a hard freeze. It's been below 14 degrees a few nights last month.
However, my daughter called me from the Tucson house today and she is sunning herself in 89 degrees.
Fellow Tucsonan here, suffered quite a bit of damage from the five solid days of those 14 degree nights. Though the crape myrtles seem to have survived well. Now I know what can survive and what can't.
What is it about fertilizing lawns that reminds me of hamster wheels? No sweat, it will come to me. Probably right around lawn cutting time. Yep, a big patch of pachysandra is good enough for me. Ground cover a grown man can appreciate while he listens to his neighbors sweat and cuss in the hot sun. Course, there is the winter time chore of picking up all them aluminum cans from the front yard. No system is perfect.