Now that the weather is nice, it’s time to spruce up our gardens. Spring gardening means laying the foundation for a great growing season ahead. Just a little work now will help you welcome lush flowers and thriving plants in the months to come. Use our checklist to get started!
Clean Out Your Garden Beds
Your very first spring gardening task should be attending to your garden beds. Clean them out; you’d be surprised at what can accumulate over the winter months. Get rid of any leaves or debris and make sure there’s ample room for the budding shoots of perennials to break through the soil. Because there’s so much fragile new growth happening right now, it’s best to use your hands; a rake could damage the tender new shoots, which break easily. Once everything has been tidied, add compost to enrich the soil.
Plant Summer Bulbs
Many gardeners have a talent for growing big summer blooms, but there’s a secret the rest of us don’t know: these flowers often start out as bulbs grown indoors. You can grow warm-weather bulbs in pots inside your house until it is warm enough outside to safely plant them in your garden. This is the perfect approach for dahlias, begonias, and lilies, in particular. These bulbs don’t always have to start out inside; a sunny patio or driveway—any solid surface that retains heat and will help warm the soil—will work too. Spring-planted bulbs guarantee dramatic colour in the summer.
Prune For Maximum Growth
Pruning is an important part of spring gardening, just remember to use a gentle touch. Grasses, fruit trees, and perennials could all use a little cutting back to encourage maximum growth. If you have ornamental grasses that have weathered the winter, cut them down before new shoots appear. Pruning fruit trees is okay, but only before any buds break out; if this has already happened, leave your trees alone. (Each variety is different, so be sure to do your research.) With perennials, remove any dead growth leftover from the last season. Clip these parts away carefully; pulling can damage the plant or even cause you to pull the entire plant out of the soft spring soil.
Hook Up Your Garden Hose
Before you know it, you will be watering your newly planted annuals or ensuring that your grass, trees, and shrubs are getting enough water. It’s time to set up your garden hose, but before you do, inspect it closely and check for any leaks. If you do have an issue, often all you’ll need to fix it is a new washer; plumber’s tape can also work wonders. Once it is hooked up and the water has been turned back on, you’ll be able to tackle other tasks too, such as washing your car and hosing down your front steps.
Set Up A Rain Barrel
If you haven’t used a rain barrel in the past, this is the year to set one up. Rain barrels collect the run-off from your home and save the water for you to give to your plants. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase and help the environment, reducing a household’s water use. Some models even have room on top for flowers to grow, making them an attractive addition to your backyard.
Get started now with some of these simple gardening tasks and before you know it your garden will be springing to life. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow the Gemterra blog for more great gardening tips.