We have been counting down the days for spring, and it’s finally here! In this blog post, we covered the tools and seasonal tips to prepare you for any gardening tasks.
Make a Plan
Always check to see if the plant will thrive in your zone if you are adding any new trees or perennials to your outdoor area.
Don’t forget we have Landscape Design Services who would love to help you get started on your DIY project or leave the dirty work to us. Take a look at our free downloadable landscape plans for inspiration.
If you grew tomatoes, peppers, or potatoes last season, we suggest rotating to a different crop like zucchini, cucumbers, beans, or peas. This will help avoid disease issues and nutrient deficiencies. Vining plants grow well on obelisks and are fun to pick and eat while working in the garden.
Alternatively, you can move the location of your vegetable garden.
Do you have all the tools you need to have a successful season in the garden? Here’s our list of the most common tools you will need:
Gloves – A good pair of gardening gloves will keep your hands dry and comfortable while you spend time planting and mending soil.
Pruners – don’t let the number of options for pruners intimidate you; they are useful for small tasks such as cutting flowers to bring inside, and more significant jobs such as seasonal pruning.
Shovel – Those perennials and shrubs won’t plant themselves; come by and browse all of our options for you.
Hand Trowel – Necessary when planting smaller plants and working with planting in containers.
Cultivator – These tools are great for breaking soil and weeding between plantings in your garden.
Watering Can – Don’t forget about those containers and smaller spaces in the garden that need water! A hose doesn’t always reach some parts of your garden.
Soil – Pick up an at-home soil testing kit to find out what your soil pH is. Healthy soil creates a nourishing environment for your plants.
Pruning & Transplanting
When it comes to plant maintenance for spring, once you have uncovered roses from winter protection, inspect for damage and winter die-back and prune if necessary. Prune summer-flowering trees and shrubs that bloom on new growth such as Panicle Hydrangeas and Weigelas, non-blooming broadleaf evergreens, or deciduous hedges.
Now is this time to cut back any perennial ornamental grasses you have been enjoying through the fall and winter to encourage new growth in the early spring.
Divide and transplant your summer blooming perennials, such as Echinacea, Salvia, or Rudbeckia, and fertilize established as soon as new growth appears. Spring flowering plants such as Irises are best divided in the summer (June – August).
You can use a pitch fork or the handheld garden forks to gently split the plants crown, rather than using a shovel to chop it.
For fruit trees, it’s a good idea to prune in late winter just before they bloom. Typically, the branches that grow vertically never produce fruit so they would need to be pruned out. This is also an opportunity to correct any damage that occurred during the winter months.
It’s a good practice to wipe your pruners off with a bit of rubbing alcohol in-between cuts to avoid spreading any disease. Additionally, pruning sealer can be used if the branches are over 1″ in diameter.
Starting a compost pile is as simple as collecting plant debris and raked leaves. Once you have your pile, you then want to add ‘brown’ (carbon-rich) materials such as dried leaves, and ‘green’ (nitrogen-rich) materials such as grass clippings or weeds. Turn your pile regularly throughout the season for rich compost that will be ready to be added to your gardens next spring. This can also be added in raised beds.
Avoid adding greasy or fatty foods to your compost such as cheese, meats, and fried foods; this will cause issues, as these materials don’t break down naturally.
Your garden can benefit from compost because it is high in organic matter, which acts like a sponge that holds onto nutrients longer. Typically, mineral based soils don’t retain very many nutrients, that’s why plants in clay soil usually have lime green or yellow stripped leaves.
Micro-organisms, such as fungi or bacteria, live in compost. When you add compost to soil the beneficial organisms help plants reach more nutrients. It’s a symbiotic relationship; the plants offer protection in exchange for nutrients to grow stronger.
“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”
By: Kayla-Jane Barrie