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Most of us can’t wait for spring! Are you ready for a new growing season? For some people, spring preparation is overwhelming. But for others, it’s a brand new start for their garden and outdoor fun! Here are a few things to get you itching to get your hands dirty!
Throughout the fall and winter, your garden can be exposed to the elements and stormy weather conditions. This can leave your garden and lawn looking messy and unattractive. The first step in getting your garden ready for spring is to clean up.
Rake up leaves: The dead leaves under and around your trees, perennials, and shrubs can be left alone to biome mulch. But leaves that have covered evergreen beds should be removed, and the lawn blown off and raked so it can once again take in sunlight. Remember to patch up any bare spots with a grass seed mix.
Remove winter protection: With spring coming in, it’s time to remove wraps, burlap barriers and the other protective materials you have on your lawn, gardens or shrubs. Don’t forget to remove stakes around trees that have been sitting in the ground for a year or more.
Pull out tools that have been sitting all winter and start cleaning them off with soap and water (use mineral spirits on wood handles).
Make sure your soil is ready for planting and that current plants are pruned and ready for the upcoming growing season. To do this, make sure you pay attention to:
Dividing perennials: Just before the fresh growth appears is the ideal time to dig up and divide the perennial plants that have grown larger than you want them. Immediately replant the divided clumps and water them. You can also use the excess sections as compost, or you can give them away. However, be careful not to dig out any perennials that are already blooming or ones that are ready to bloom soon.
Problem prevention: A granular weed preventer is an excellent way to start protecting your lawn. If you’ve had crabgrass problems in the past, it’s best to spot treat it with organic herbicide. There are also great options that provide three benefits: kill weeds in your lawn, prevent new weeds from growing, and fertilize plants all at the same time.
Edge beds: The end of winter is the right time to cut away sharp edges around your garden beds with an edging tool. This will provide your landscape with a tidy look, and store mulch that can be used once the warm season lands on the soil.
Add manure: You’ll want to add compost or manure a couple of weeks before planting so it has time to mix well with your soil and won’t burn the roots of new plants.
Consult your zone to know which flowers and vegetables are best for your location. You can also head to your local nursery to get planting recommendations from local experts.
Ask any seasoned gardener and they’ll tell you that planning is the most important part of any fabulous garden.
Not only do you want to plant according to your zone, but your plan should also consider varying the heights of plants as well as the color and timing of flowering plants. Make sure that taller, flowering plants don’t block the sun from shorter ones.
Upkeep during the whole season is key. Once your flowering plants start to bloom, deadhead to promote more flowers (deadheading is when you cut off the drooping or fading flowers from the rest of the green, healthy stem). And most of all...have fun!