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The cold days are passing us by, and spring has finally arrived. Yeah! Yes, it is time to use up all that saved energy.
It is time to head outdoors to give the garden a spring cleanup. There are garden beds and hardscaping needing cleaning and time to repair damaged retaining walls to prune early flowering shrubs.
Gosh, that sounds like a lot of work, right? Yes, it can be if you do not know where to start. But, luckily Plantly is here to help with essential spring gardening tasks to make it easier.
So, let’s get with this growing season on a good foot.
12 Essential Early Spring Gardening Chores
Spring is the time of the year when remarkable growth appears, enhancing the mood. Yet, spring is also a task-driven time of the year.
Therefore, your garden needs your undivided attention. Still, it is hard work and a great way to use that pent-up energy.
So grab your gardening tools and head outside for fresh air and sun. Then use our spring clean tips and head into the garden.
Great, the first warm day has arrived, and it is time to put on your spring inspector’s hat. Remember to take a notepad to jot down notes, as you need to see what happened in your garden when you were snuggly warm indoors. We recommend taking note of the following:
Check to see what damage was caused to your outdoor plants, from the winter ice to snow.
Look at flowering beds that need cleaning.
Check your walls, benches, trellises, and fences to see if they shifted and what other hardscaping elements need repairing.
Most importantly, look at new burrows made in the garden from chipmunks, voles, moles, and other garden creatures. Also, take note of deer or rodent damage on your woody plants.
Once you are done checking your garden, double-check to see if the flowering shrubs, bulbs, and seeds you want to plant have arrived.
Start Repairing The Hardscaping Elements First
There is still a chance of late spring frosts appearing in early spring. So check the frost date as the ground might not yet be ready to be worked. Instead, focus all your energy on your hardscaping.
You can repair any retaining walls and level out those stepping stones. Next, it is time to clean the gutters and fix fences to decks, sheds, window boxes, and raised beds.
Accomplishing these tasks first is more manageable as some of your spring-blooming perennials remain dormant.
Now is also the best time to plan where you want to add new raised gardens or widen your existing ones. It is an ideal time to tidy up the bed edging.
When temperatures warm up, you can add a fresh coat of paint or seal and stain the hardscaping elements of wood.
Prepare Gardening Tools
With the spring season here and all your hardscaping chores done, it is time to prepare your gardening tools for the work ahead.
Ensure that your garden tools are rust-free and sharp to start getting into the dirty work of gardening. It is time to remove your tools from their safe place now. Next, clean the wooden handles by sanding them and layering them with linseed oil.
Also, list last season’s tools that are beyond repair to order new ones.
Fixing, Cleaning Garden Beds, and Pruning
Before the spring bulbs to perennials start to liven up with new growth, it is a great time to remove plant debris from the garden. This includes:
Matted down leaves,
Annual flowers you did not remove
Doing this is excellent for maintaining good hygiene to keep pests to diseases away. For example, remove grass clippings from lawn mowing, clean water features, and fish ponds.
It is also a great time to scrub the bird bath. Clean any container with one part bleach and five parts water to remove insect eggs and lingering diseases.
Early spring is also a great time to test the soil. Experts recommend doing this every three to five years. You will learn what organic materials and nutrients the soil needs and what it has too much of.
For example, you may find that the soil is high in phosphorous, and avoiding fertilizers with a lot of it is best now. Alternatively, the soil might be alkaline, and you need to add more aluminum sulfate for your evergreen and acid-loving shrubs.
Replenishing The Garden Soil
Once you know the soil content, replenish it using recommended products from your local garden center. Finally, add a top dress of about an inch or two using compost, organic matter, or well-rotted manure from the compost pile before summer flowering bulbs emerge.
Generally, spring is also a good time to sprinkle some organic slow-release fertilizer like Espoma’s Plant-Tone or use Rose-Tone around your perennials and shrubs. Another great creature to add to the garden are earthworms.
Time to Get Out Your Sharp Pruners
Now is the time to prune your trees and woody shrubs. Here are a few highlights you can use:
Prune damaged or broken dead wood from snow, cold, and winter ice.
You can trim in spring for flowering shrubs that bloom on new wood, meaning this year’s growth. Doing this allows the flower buds to set on the new flush of growth that appears after pruning.
Shear your evergreens back like your boxwood once the new growth completes emerging.
Also, do not prune your early flowering shrubs and ones that bloom on old wood in spring.
You can remove last year’s perennial foliage that looks frail and tackle your deciduous shrubs to shape them again.
Lastly, do not forget your spring containers need trimming and cleaning.
Separate Perennials From Annuals
In early spring, you see newly emerging buds popping up, and it is a great time to divide perennials and transplant shrubs that have outgrown the space. Now is the time to split large enough plants.
Hence, the good thing is to move summer and fall blooming perennials in spring. Then move your spring blooming perennials in early fall. Doing this helps to prevent disrupting the bloom cycle.
You can move your evergreen shrubs before new growth appears or do it in early fall. You can move deciduous shrubs at any time when not in bloom, but the spring season is a great time to do this.
Put Supports Such as Trellises, Ornaments, and Stakes
garden bed with trellis @flickr
Another helpful tip to start the spring season successfully is to bring your stored trellis back into the garden. Apply a fresh coat of paint before you use it again. For your other perennials that need support, you can use a trellis or stakes and spruce up your ornaments to place outside in the garden.
Start Planting Cool Weather Plantings
As you have prepared your plants beds and most annual flower buds need warm soil before planting, you can grow your cool-weather plants now. For example, plant lobelia, sweet alyssum, and Supertunia petunias in your containers. For most annual flowers, we recommend waiting until the last frost date.
Fertilize Your New Plants
Now that you have planted and transplanted plants, it is time to add some fertilizer to your flower beds and provide your container plants with feed. We recommend checking your plant’s individual needs.
Mulch The Plant Area
With summer moving in fast, it helps to add a layer of mulch around your tender plants. Doing this help protect the plant roots from the heat and is excellent for retaining moisture.
Another important thing is to provide your tender plants with some protection from the last frost coming in.
This is very important for tender emerging buds to protect them from the last cold.
We hope that our list of essential care spring tips helps you to get a headstart in your garden this year. The important thing is when you prepare your garden early with a thorough spring cleanup.
Then, you can enjoy the rest of the growing season sitting back and relaxing with refreshing drinks on the patio to see your garden blooming.