Spring is here along with a new growing season. It’s time to get everything ready for new bedding plants, a beautiful summer lawn, and thriving trees and shrubbery. Hit all the points on this checklist, and you’ll be set to go.
Make a Plan
A beautiful garden needs lots of preparation and maintenance. Develop a plan so you can give your carefully chosen plants a good growing season. Check your zone to see which plants thrive in your area. Refer to any notes you made about last year’s garden. If you don’t keep a gardening journal, now is a good time to start one. You will find that having notes on last year’s success and failures is an excellent basis for developing your plan. For flower beds, consider a variety of heights, colors, and textures to create a lovely vista with different blooms appearing from early spring until frost.
Tools and Supplies
Start with getting your tools ready since you can’t garden without them! Pull out all your spades, trowels, hoes, and clippers. Clean them well, and sharpen their edges. Oil them to remove rust and prevent any new corrosion. You will find it much easier to dig in the dirt with sharp tools.
Replenish supplies, including potting soil, mulch, soil additives, and fertilizer. Decide on any structures you might need, such as trellises, tomato cages, or stakes. Perhaps you need a new wheelbarrow or wagon. Treat yourself to a new pair of gardening gloves. Get everything you need so you are ready for the day when the sun is shining and the soil is warm enough for your seeds and new plants.
It’s time to clear out all the debris that gathered in your yard over the winter. Rake up brown dry leaves from all the corners and beds. Clip off dead stalks or vines from your perennials. Well composted mulch from last year can stay and be incorporated into the soil, but the rest needs to be raked away.
It’s never too early to weed, so start now. Get them out before any of their seeds germinate or they establish long roots. Weeds will proliferate quickly and fight your plants for space in the garden. When possible, weed after it rains so the soil is soft and you can more easily pluck out their entire root system.
Soil gets compacted during the winter and needs to be loosened by tilling or turning. Once all the old leaves, sticks and debris are gone, you can work in soil nutrients, compost, and other amendments. Wait for a sunny day with dry soil. Soil prep enriches the dirt and breaks it up to allow better penetration of the nutrients, air, and water. You are looking for a consistency of loose cake crumbs. Rake it smooth and water lightly so it settles. Fertilize as needed for the plants you choose.
Prune Late Summer Bloomers
Spring is the right time for pruning some of your shrubs and trees. Leave the early bloomers alone because their buds are in place and will blossom soon. Feel free to prune others that bloom in summer. Their buds will appear on new wood that starts to grow in late spring so they are safe to trim now.
Once your plants are in the ground, give everything a nice layer of mulch. It will help hold water on hot summer days while keeping the weeds down. Be sure to mulch around trees too, but don’t pile it up against the trunks. Don’t mulch areas where you are waiting for seeds to sprout, but do it around the plants as soon as they have germinated. Edge the lawn, and follow good lawn maintenance practices. Regularly deadhead the flowers that require it, weed all the time, prune, and tidy the lawn throughout the growing season. You’ll be rewarded with the fun of seeing your plants thrive which will provide a beautiful view of your lawn throughout the spring and summer seasons.