Spring is in the air! Have you been noticing the new life popping up in your yard outside? Tiny little buds and blossoms are starting to come up and make their first appearance! Now is a great time to do some pruning and planning for your garden. How do you go about preparing your garden? We’re glad you asked! Check out these great tips for prepping your garden for spring!
It is always a good idea to clean your garden tools in the spring. If you remembered to clean them in the fall as well, that is great! But, it is still recommended to give them a quick clean in the spring as well. You can do this with a damp cloth, a stiff brush and some soap and warm water. You may also want to disinfect your tools with bleach as well. There are many different diseases that can cause plants to die. These diseases can be passed on through the bacteria found on gardening tools that haven’t been cleaned properly. You may be putting your plants at risk by using uncleaned sheers that have been sitting in the back shed for the last few years.
Did you know that as much as 30% of your household waste can be diverted into compost? Rather than tossing away all of your organic waste, why not throw it into compost instead! You can then feed your garden with your composted material! It is easy to create a compost pile at home by throwing your organic matter into a designated bag or box. The 3 main components of a well-mixed compost are nitrogen, carbon and water. A few examples of nitrogen include tea leaves, leftover produce and able scraps, garden weeds and flower cuttings. Some carbon examples include newspaper, leaves, dryer lint, cardboard and pine needles. Be sure to add some water to the mix to help break everything down.
Both spring and early summer are great times to do some pruning. Be sure to use sharp, sterile sheers when it comes to trimming back your plants. A few spring bloomers such as lilacs and viburnums need to be pruned right after their blooms have faded. Doing so now rather than waiting will help to encourage fuller, prosperous blooms for next year. Fruiting trees such as crab apples or cherries can also benefit from spring pruning. You should trim their buds back as they are forming to help shape the tree into a more round, regular shape rather than becoming leggy and warped. Another great idea for spring pruning is to trim back any diseased or dead growth. This can be done at any time of the year, but doing it now will make your spring blooms all the more beautiful without the dead foliage in the way.
Weeds can certainly be a real pain! And they don’t let up as the year goes on, but there are a few things you can do in the spring to help keep them at bay for the summer. Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied this time of year to help prevent mid to late-summer weeds before they have a chance to grow. Be sure to choose the correct chemical for targetting specific weeds. Broadleaf weeds such as dandelions are killed by different chemicals than grass-like weeds such as crabgrass. If you would prefer to go the non-chemical route, there are many organic herbicides and home remedies you can try as well.
Before purchasing seeds and planting, it is a good idea to have a loose plan on how you want your garden to look. Be mindful of which colours you want to showcase, the height of your plants, the width of your plants and what kind of lighting they need. Keep taller plants behind the shorter ones for obvious reasons. When it comes to vegetable gardens, you will want to only plant the veggies that you enjoy. Also, research how much these plants will fruit over the summer. If you don’t think your family can handle over 50 zucchini’s in one season, then maybe only plant one rather than 3 as these plants can produce like crazy! For a great resource on planning a vegetable garden, check out the Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Planner Tool. Looking for some easy-to-grow veggies? Hop over to our article with 15 easy-to-grow vegetables!
If you don’t have any seeds leftover from last year, then now is the time to go out and buy the ones you want. Grocery and hardware stores have put seeds out now and they are ready for you! Decide which flowers and veggies you want to plant and go on a seed shopping spree! Figure out which seeds need to be transplanted indoors before being planted in the ground and set those ones aside so they are “ready to grow!” Though many bulbs should be planted in the fall, you can get away with some of them in the spring as long as you plant them soon enough. A few beautiful flowers that can be planted in the spring for summer bloom include calla lilies, begonias, dahlias, shamrocks, and rain lilies.
Before starting to grow any seeds indoors, it is a good idea to take a look at a planting calendar. This will help determine which seeds should be planted first. You should keep a notebook with the dates that each seedling was planted so you don’t forget. This will also help the planning process for the future as well. If you missed the planting time for certain vegetables, that is okay! You should be able to purchase small seedlings at your local garden centre in the coming weeks. Remember that not all seeds need to be started indoors. There are many vegetables that can be planted directly into the soil outdoors once the frost is over. Check out this extensive guide to help choose which seeds to start indoors and which ones to plant outside.
In conclusion, we hope you have learned a few simple tips for preparing your garden for spring! Gardening is such a fun hobby and this time of year is such an exciting time for gardeners. Watching plants break through the soil and make their way to the sun is such a magical thing! Remember to keep your gardening tools clean, make a plan for your garden, trim and prune and above all, have fun while doing it!
The Susan & Moe Team hopes you enjoy your spring season! Is it time to find a new home with a better outdoor space? Contact us!