When you hear the term “spring cleaning” you more than likely think of your home. You know, you have things which have accumulated during the winter you want to get rid of. You can do the same thing outside. In fact, here are some tips to spring clean your garden.
As soon as you can get out in the warmer springtime weather, you may want to do the following:
* Go through your garden to remove any dead annuals which remained in the garden over the colder weather. You can add these to your compost pile or begin one if you haven’t already done so.
* Now is also a good time to prune back any perennials you have in your garden. Of course, you’ll want to wait until you see new growth at the base of the plant before you prune them back.
* Woody-stemmed plants such as lavender and buddleia are cut back each year to allow for new blooms on new plant growth. Wait until you know there’s no chance of frost or you could kill the plant.
* Trim back any torn leaves from semi-evergreen plants such as hellebores or bearded iris. This will encourage the plant to send out new growth as well as help them look better while you wait for growth.
* Ornamental grasses are generally cut near the ground, within a few inches, to encourage new growth. Since these grasses are hardy, they’ll come up in their own time no matter when you trim them back.
* Pull up any weeds you see in flower gardens while the soil is damp. This will make it easier to rid your garden of the weeds, especially while they’re small. Be careful not to compost these weeds or they may take over your compost pile or possibly spread into other areas where you don’t want them.
* Test your soil to determine if it needs fertilizer. You can also amend your soil with other organic material to get it in the top shape possible.
* Divide or transplant during the spring. The earlier you get this done, the better chance your plants will have to survive.
* Stake out your garden space. You may want to go ahead and plan your garden while you’re at it, too. Planning and staking your garden will train your plants early on, rather than having to struggle with them later in the growing season.
* Place a generous layer of mulch in your garden. This will cool the plant roots when needed, feed the soil, conserve water, and help keep weeds at bay.
* Edge your garden in the springtime and it will prevent your lawn from encroaching into the flower or vegetable garden. You’d also be surprised how much nicer a garden looks when it’s edged.
There’s nothing like a tidy garden to begin the spring. Using these tips to spring clean your garden will get it in tip-top shape while you’re waiting for the flowers to bloom!