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Spring garden prep tips from the pros!

Daylight Saving Time was this past weekend, and we lost an hour of sleep but gained an oh-so-valuable hour of sunshine in the afternoon. Spring is almost here and that means...it's chore time!

Stepping back into the garden after a long, harsh Maryland winter can be overwhelming, but it is also a time of relief. Even with a winter chill still in the air, there are plenty of tasks to start handling now if you want to get your garden in party-ready shape by the time the temperatures rise.


We are big believers that gardening should add joy - not stress - to your life, so we've come up with some tasks to get you reacquainted with your outdoor space. It can be tackled bit-by-bit as you have time (or delegated to members of your household who need an outdoor activity, as seen above). Spring is a fabulous time to assess damage from winter, fix tools, fill in holes in the landscape, tend to your lawn, perform essential pruning, create new beds, plant from bare-root or container-grown plants, feed everything, begin composting, be kind to the birds, add a layer of much, and tune up your drip system.


Survey the yard

First, look up and assess the trees. Make note of tree limbs that should be removed or cabled, especially those that overhang structures. Hire an arborist to maintain large trees. Next, assess the mid-level. Cut down last year's perennial foliage, and toss it into the compost pile. Then, the ground plane: rake mulch from beds planted with bulbs before foliage appears, and refresh mulch in other planting areas after soil warms. Lastly, give a good once-over to all your hardscaped areas by checking fences, steps, and pathways for disrepair caused by freezing and thawing.


Tune up tools

In case you didn't store them properly for winter, give your tools some attention so they're in good shape when it's time to work. Bypass pruners benefit from a sharpening. Wooden handles benefit from being cleaned, sanded, and massaged with linseed oil. Make note of what is missing, and order tools for the new season.


Refresh the lawn

If you've got grass, spring is an important time to turn your attention to your turf. Send the mower and leaf blower for servicing, or if you have the right tools, sharpen the mower blades yourself. Refill your mower with oil, install fresh spark plugs, and lubricate moving parts if necessary. Clear the lawn of winter debris and look for areas that need reseeding before mowing.


Fertilize

Your garden is waking up, and it'll appreciate a little fuel! Apply balanced fertilizer (the numbers on the container should read 6-6-6 or 8-8-8) or fish emulsion around trees and shrubs when new growth appears. Spread high-acid fertilizer and pine-needle mulch around acid-loving shrubs like azaleas, camellias, blueberries, or citrus. Begin fertilizing perennials when active growth resumes.


When in doubt, MULCH

Possibly the single easiest thing you can do from both a functional and aesthetic point of view is to give the garden a fresh layer of mulch. A several-inch-thick layer of your favorite mulch, say wood chips, straw - even finished compost - gives everything a clean, tidied-up look while helping to suppress weeds and retain moisture.


Taken now, these steps will not only help your spring and summer run more smoothly, they can also improve your yields over the long term. If you are looking for a experienced company to help get your garden spring-ready, then we are the experts for you! Please feel free to contact us at 443-846-0199 or info@rootedinnaturemd.com.

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