Spring may be one of the most beautiful times of the year, but it’s also when your garden needs most of your attention.
Use these techniques to ensure you have a strong and healthy garden in the months to come.
1. Prepare the soil
Before you plant anything, you’re going to need to test the soil. After all, no garden can grow in an infertile environment. Another time to amend your soil is typically in autumn. If you did so last season, spring is the time to check on the progress.
Since plants have their initial growth spurts this time of year, they need some extra feeding. If you have been taking care of your soil, and it is rich and healthy, you won’t have a lot of work to do. Some manure or compost will be enough to feed your growing plants and ensure healthy development in the early stages. This piece of advice also applies to organic fertilizer.
On the other hand, if you use synthetic fertilizer, don’t start applying it until plants show signs of new growth.
2. Care for plants
Roses are found in almost any garden, and they need special care during spring.
If you live in a warmer climate, your roses haven’t gone dormant during the winter months. In this case, prune them and remove the majority of leaves. This will shock the rose just a little and make it think it was dormant, making it grow again. If it actually was dormant, start spring care when the first leaf buds appear.
Ornamental grasses benefit from being cut down to only a few inches. Don’t worry, they’ll grow when they’re ready.
Finally, evergreens should get some of your attention, too. You will need to tidy up a little, but that’s about it. Fertilizing at this time is also a good idea as evergreens actually grow in springtime. Don’t overdo it — if you have rich and healthy soil, your evergreens should be fed with special fertilizer every two years.
3. Divide and transplant
Spring is when new plants emerge, and it’s the time for dividing and transplanting.
These two tasks are often the ones gardeners have the most trouble with. This is expected, as plants don’t really like being moved around a lot. In fact, some studies have shown that plants can feel stress and shock as much as other living beings.
Dividing and transplanting may be the main causes of distress as you are moving your plants from the environment they feel very comfortable in. Since they can’t really process those negative feelings, most plants end up dying of stress or shock.
It’s not impossible to divide and transplant, though. If you’re patient and good with timing, you can do so without any consequences.
When the weather is mild, plants recover from this kind of “abuse” rather well and rather quickly.
4. Prune trees and bushes
Because your garden was mostly left to itself during the winter months, your trees and bushes are probably overgrown. This can easily be seen as there are no leaves covering the stems and branches yet.
If they continue to overgrow, they will soon become unmanageable and weak, leaving you with a bigger problem than you bargained for. As well as overgrowth, you may also notice that there are some dead branches.
Those may end up killing your trees and shrubs, as dead plant parts are more prone to disease and spread it more easily. Remove these inconveniences so that your shrubs and trees can grow and develop the way they’re meant to.
It’s easiest to remove all dead branches and shape your plants the way you want to in these months, as they aren’t covered in leaves.
Pruning shears are a must in your gardening toolbox, and with an extendable pole pruner, you’ll be able to easily reach tree tops, ensuring optimal health from head to toe.
The most important thing to remember about pruning is timing. You should prune them a bit later in the spring to avoid cutting off this year’s flowers.
5. Weed, weed, weed
When it comes to weeding, spring is the perfect time to do so. As the soil is still damp from winter, it will be much easier to pull young weed seedlings from the ground. This is known as pro-active weeding and will help your garden grow right from the start.
Some gardeners also like to start composting in spring. But don’t think that putting weeds in your compost bin is a good idea. More often than not, they just come to haunt you.
Disposing of weeds is necessary, but so is wearing the proper equipment while you do so. No weeding job should be started without a pair of rubber gloves and boots, so as to ensure there are no possible cuts or bruises.
There are plenty of things to pay attention to when it comes to spring cleaning. Though many people think only of the inside of their homes during this period, the garden is just as important.
To ensure you’ve optimized your garden’s features, you’ll need to work hard on every listed item. Soon, though, the only thing left to do will be to enjoy your hard work and dedication!
The reward will be the lush, healthy and strong plants you’ve helped reach their full potential.
For more information
How to Divide and Propagate Shrubs (article)