Though I don’t want to get overly optimistic about spring’s arrival next week, I have to admit that I am excited to see the snow melt and my garden re-emerge from beneath it. As an amateur gardener I look forward to the spring and the prospects for my garden during the warmer summer months ahead.
If you’re already seeing such early spring bloomers as snow roses, snowdrops and the tops of crocuses appear in your garden, congratulations! Now you can start planning what you will do in the garden in the coming weeks.
Each spring you should start preparing your garden for the season by first cleaning it up. When the lawn and garden aren’t too wet, remove any dead leaves that fell during the autumn and any other debris that made it into the garden during the winter months.
Then, rake your lawn to get rid of any dead growth, leaves, twigs and other debris. This will help encourage the grass to grow.
Remove any tree guards or burlap winter protection you put on trees and shrubs in the fall. Tree guards, which help prevent rabbits and mice from nibbling the bark of young trees in the winter, must be removed before the summer as they will restrict air movement around the trunk and promote rotting. Any protection added to rose bushes should also be removed at this time.
Take this time to also transplant any shrubs from one spot in the garden to another. Doing this before they begin to grow leaves is best and will encourage better growth.
If you’ve noticed that heavy snow and frost has uprooted perennials from the soil, replant the perennials so you don’t lose them. While you’re in there, cut back last growing season’s dead plant material and foliage and be sure to dispose of the material in your compost or city green bin.
As hard as it might be, resist the urge to start digging too early in the garden. Early digging can actually damage the soil’s structure. You’ll know it’s ready and dry enough if when you pick up a handful of soil it falls apart rather than clumping together. When the soil is the right consistency, you can start weeding to save yourself a lot of work later. Plus it’s easier to pull out weeds in the early spring when the roots are shallow.
Don’t forget to clean up your edges. Because grass grows vigorously in the spring it’s a good idea to edge all garden beds before the extreme growth begins.
If you have other spring gardening tips to share, please do so in the comments section below. Please e-mail me at Roxanne@chestnutpark.com or call my office at 416-925-9191.
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Tags: Roxanne Henderson