Itching To Get Your Garden Ready For Spring?
No matter what it looks like outside, spring Is coming. It you are like most gardeners, you are itching to get out there and get something growing. Although it may be a little too early to sow seeds or put plants in the ground, but there are things you can do to satisfy your itch and get your garden ready for warmer weather.
Cut Back Perennials and Ornamental Grasses
If you have not already cut these plants back, now is the time to do so before they start growing again. For most perennials and ornamental grasses, it is okay to cut them back to within a few inches of ground level. Some people like to keep ornamental grasses up for the winter (they can be quite attractive) and this is fine but be sure to cut them back before the start growing again. Remove any dead plants as they will not grow back under any conditions. Be sure to put all cuttings in the compost bin.
Dormant Shrub Pruning
This is an ideal time to thin out many shrubs. Viburnums, lilac, red twig dogwoods among others benefit from this kind of pruning. Remove any damaged or dying branches, crossing branches and competing branches.
The seed company catalogs have probably already arrived so take some time to peruse the pages and place your orders. Be sure to try something different that you have not grown before. As gardens grow, so do our skills as gardeners.
Inspect Your Tools
Look over your tools for damage, sharpen shears and shovels (it really does make digging easier), and take your mower in to be serviced. A little preparation now will save tons of time and grief later on.
Test Your Soil
It all starts with the soil. Send in a sample to a lab or your local extension service. They can test for major nutrients, minor nutrients and the pH level. Doing so now will give you plenty of time to take corrective measures.
Most perennials respond well to dividing and you get more plants to spread around your garden. Don’t have room for more plants? Share or trade them with your friends. What a great way to spread the joy.
Edge and Mulch
If the weather will allow it, why not edge and mulch your ornamental garden beds now? Mulching can be done at any time of the year. Your garden beds will look great and a large garden task will be out of the way.
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