Spring Gardening Basics

garden tips
by Ennor

Spring Gardening Basics

Gardening early in the spring fills one with a sense of optimism, even when faced with the mess left by winter and a month’s worth of cleaning up. As temperatures get warmer and spring bulbs start to emerge, how can you not be optimistic? To help your garden get off to great start follow some of these basic garden tips.

After the initial spring clean-up, check your trees and shrubs for snow and wind damage. It’s rare that trees & shrubs make it through winter with no broken branches. Prune any damaged plants and remove any hanging limbs. Once the gardens are cleaned out and you’ve pruned your damaged trees and shrubs, begin working on the flower gardens. Start by cultivating the soil in order to allow nutrients, water and air to reach the roots. Give your plants adequate feeding throughout the season by adding a layer of organic compost to the gardens. Be careful not to step on new shoots while working in the garden.

As spring progresses, begin to think about which annuals will work best in your garden. As soon as there’s no longer a chance of frost, prepare the garden for your new flowers by turning over the soil and mixing in some peat moss and organic compost. Often, as a result of growing for months in the greenhouse, the roots of potted annuals will be a dense tangled mess. Gently loosen them to allow the roots to easily take hold and to promote vigorous growth. Buckwheat hulls, or other light mulches, added to flowers beds will help limit the growth of weeds and increase the soils ability to hold moisture.

Spring is a terrific time to repair a thinning lawn. To improve your lawn, loosen the soil in the bare spots, grade it and smooth it out. Add the proper seed then gently pull an upside down leaf rake across the area. This will bury the seed just slightly creating ideal conditions for germination. Be sure to water and keep the soil somewhat moist until the seed germinate.

Pruning roses in the spring prevents them from becoming overgrown and encourages many new blooms. First cut back the dead or damaged branches. Wait until the buds are red and swelling, this with help in your decision of where to prune on the stem. Choose spots just above outward facing buds to avoid crisscrossing branches and to allow air flow through the center of the rose.

If you planned a new garden over the winter, spring is a great time to implement a new design and plant new shrubs. It gives them an early start and allows them establish themselves in their new environment over the course of an entire growing season. Dig a hole at least twice as wide as the root ball and just as deep. Provide your new shrubs with nutrient rich soil by adding some compost to the existing soil. Place the shrub in the hole. Be sure that the top of the root ball is level with the existing grade of the garden. Avoid planting trees or shrubs below grade as it’s always detrimental to the health of the plant.

Spread 2 or 3 inches of bark mulch throughout all your shrub beds. Mulch will help garden soil retain its moisture while preventing the encroachment of weeds. Mulch also adds organic matter to soil as it slowly decomposes.

There are quite a few garden projects which are best done in the spring so plan ahead. If the weather allows, start early. Even while there are patches of snow still on the ground, it’s possible to prune broken limbs or begin cleaning out the gardens in which the snow has melted. Getting some of the more tedious garden projects completed early on allows you to spend more time planning, planting and enjoying new gardens.

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