It can be stressful to return to the garden after a long, harsh winter. Even if the winter chill is still hanging around, there are plenty of jobs to get started on now if you want your garden to be party-ready by the time the weather warms up.
Here are six spring gardening tasks to get you reacquainted with your outdoor space.
Start by Mulching
Giving the garden a fresh coating of mulch is perhaps the single easiest thing you can do from a functional and aesthetic standpoint. A thick layer of your favorite mulch, such as straw, wood chips, or even finished compost, provides a neat, tidy appearance while also suppressing weeds and retaining moisture.
Make New Beds
It’s totally possible to start from scratch and construct a new planting bed where none previously existed. Digging the soil, introducing oxygen and alleviating compaction, and then adding amendments, such as compost, are the most critical steps in creating rich, living soil. Remove any sod, weeds, or rubbish from the planting area as soon as the soil can be handled. Spread a 4-inch layer of compost or well-rotted manure, as well as any amendments, over the soil and cultivate it with a spading fork to a depth of 10 to 12 inches. Before planting, rake it smooth.
Shrubs Should Be Pruned
Branches that are dead, damaged, or infected should be removed from woody plants. Except for old-fashioned once-bloomers, thin and prune summer-blooming shrubs like most roses, hydrangea, and butterfly bush. After the plants have recovered their spring growth, prune any cold-damaged wood. After spring-blooming shrubs and trees have finished blossoming, prune them.
If you have grass, spring is a good time to start thinking about your lawn. Send the mower and leaf blower in for service, or sharpen the mower blades yourself if you have the necessary tools. Refill the oil in your mower, replace the spark plugs, and lubricate the moving parts if necessary. Before mowing, clear the lawn of winter debris and inspect for spots that require reseeding.
Tuning Gardening Instruments
Give your tools some attention if you didn’t properly store them for the winter, so they’re in good form when it’s time to work. Sharpening bypass pruners is beneficial. Cleaning, sanding, and massaging linseed oil into wooden handles is beneficial. Make a list of what’s missing and place an order for the new growing season’s tools.
Examine the Gardening Area
Look up and analyze the trees first. Make a list of any tree limbs that need to be cut or cabled, especially those that hang over structures. To keep huge trees in good shape, use an arborist. Assess the mid-level next. Last year’s perennial leaves should be cut down and tossed into the compost pile. After that, there’s the ground plane: Before the foliage shows, rake mulch from bulbs-planted beds, and renew mulch in other planting sites as the soil warms. Finally, give all of your hardscaped areas a once-over: Check for damage caused by freezing and thawing on fences, steps, and pathways.