Getting your garden ready for summer is all about getting it right in spring and these 10 tips are here to help you do just that. So, take note, put on your gloves, and get gardening.
Inspect The Garden
Remove any tree limbs and have the large trees pruned or removed by an arborist. Check with knowledgeable arborists like The Local Tree Experts. Do away with any perennial foliage from last year and throw it into your compost pit. Check the beds that have bulbs and rake the mulch before any foliage starts popping up; do the same to other beds and refresh the mulch where necessary. Check the steps, pathways, and fences for any damages that may have been caused by thawing and freezing.
Get Tools And Plants
Prep your tools to ensure everything is ready; do some stocktaking to know what is missing, broken, and which new tools you need for the coming planting season. Pick the right plant, those that flourish for spring gardening. Order trees, shrubs, and selected perennials.
Test The Soil
Test the soil pH using a home soil testing kit. Take samples from various sections around your garden to ensure you get accurate readings. Enrich the soil accordingly based on the findings. Use elemental sulphur to reduce the soil’s pH and dolomitic lime to raise the pH.
Prep For Mowing
Ensure the mower and leaf blower are in good working condition; having sharp blades and are oiled and well lubricated. Service the more if need be; change the spark plugs, and oil all moving parts as needed. Remove all winter debris from the lawn and reseeding any bare-patched sections before you start mowing the yard.
According to lawn care expert Jake Hill from LawnStarter Richmond, neglecting to remove the debris from the lawn in a timely manner can suffocate the grass and further damage the lawn.
Prep The Beds
Prep the planting areas by removing weeds, sod, and debris and then spread some compost (a layer that is around 4-inch thick). The compost should be of adequately rotten manure and should be mix with the topsoil to the depth of around 10 -12 inches using a spading fork.
Start A Compost Pit
Start a new compost pit around the same time the planting season starts. Throw all the plant branches, leaves, and other debris and throw them into the pit after chopping them up into smaller pieces that will help speed up the decomposition process. Mix dried, and green plant waste in the pit; the dried (brown) material are a rich source of carbon and the green materials provide nitrogen. Place them in even layers as you pour compost bioactivator and water after each layer. Turn the compost pile periodically as you continue adding more compost materials into the pile to have a nutrient-rich compost ready for the next spring planting.
Prune Trees And Shrubs
Check woody plants and trees for any damaged, diseased, or dead branches that need pruning. If you are unsure of exactly what to do, Fiskars explains how to prune a tree in an easy to follow way. Trimming and thinning the shrubs that bloom during summer such as roses, butterfly bush, and hydrangea will do them a lot of good; exempt the old-fashioned shrubs that only bloom once a year. Consider doing the trimming, thinning, and pruning once the plants start to show some spring growth and work on spring bloomers only after they flower.
Early spring in the best time to plant shrubs, bare-root trees, as well as perennials like daylilies and hostas. Plan these on a cloudy day that has cool temperatures. Plants grown in containers can be transplanted anytime as long as they are growing rapidly, just avoid transplanting them in the midsummer. Water your plant thoroughly after transplanting. It also is a good time to sow seeds for vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and parsley as well as those of cool-season flowers such as calendula, sweet peas, and poppies.
Apply fertilizer to your plants when new growth starts to appear. Use balanced fertilizers and other soil improvement compounds based on the soil-test results. Wait until perennials show active growth to start fertilizing them and spread high-acid fertilizers around camellias, azaleas and other shrubs that love acid and then do some pine-needle mulching.
Clean The Bird Feeders And Baths
Keep a healthy flock of birds in your garden by ensuring the bird feeders and baths are clean and disinfected. Scrub the feeders using a mild bleach solution and thoroughly rinse and dry them before placing any food inside. Use a slightly stronger bleach solution for the baths, rinse thoroughly, and ensure you keep changing the water regularly.
We have a big garden every year. There is a lot of preparation, but well worth it.
These are great tips. I can’t wait to get my hummingbird feeders outside! Thank you for sharing!