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Who else is excited that its spring? I know I am! I am happy to introduce Ann Sanders, founder and main editor of A Green Hand. She is sharing some great gardening tasks in spring to keep in mind for this time of year in this wonderful guest post.
Spring is a great time to go out to your garden. There are barely any threats of frost, and the ground is finally getting thawed — you can plant new shrubs and trees soon. With that in mind, we’ve come up with several gardening tasks in spring that will help you take full advantage of the season.
Take Out The Bad Weeds
Weeds aren’t necessarily awful for your garden, but those that spread aggressively and compete with your plants for nutrition must be removed. As the weather warms up, both weeds and your plants will resume a period of active growth. Thus, you must get rid of the weeds before their roots are deeply established in the soil. Pull them up before they germinate. Likewise, don’t forget to include the roots to prevent new growth.
Clean Your Garden
Winter has surely led to an accumulation of debris in your garden. So, you should get a rake to remove all of the fallen leaves, twigs, and branches. Apart from removing natural debris, you can also remove excess thatch. A thin layer of thatch isn’t problematic, but too much is dangerous for the root systems. Thatch that is thicker than an inch can prevent plants from receiving enough sunlight.
Furthermore, you should check your garden beds for any annuals that you haven’t yet removed. If you have any bird baths or water features, sterilize them and replace the water immediately. Just use a mix of bleach and water to effectively remove any diseases that have taken refuge in these areas.
Conduct a Soil Test
If you haven’t done a soil test in at three years, you should have one now. Knowing the current state of your soil will significantly help in attaining optimal plant growth. You can buy a soil test kit and do this on your own, but we strongly suggest that you send a soil sample to a local cooperative extension service. This way, you’ll get a comprehensive result that will help you make the right adjustments.
For example, you will know how much aluminum sulfate should be applied to the soil if it’s alkaline. Doing so will help evergreens and shrubs like magnolias, hydrangeas, dogwood, and rhododendrons. In addition, you might be better off avoiding fertilizer products containing a lot of phosphorus if you have a soil that is already rich in it.
Begin Transplanting and Dividing
While it’s still early in spring, you should take care of perennials that need to be grown in new areas. These perennials could either be too big to stay in their current area. A good tip to remember is to choose perennials that bloom during summer and fall. These perennials include lavender, phlox, sage, blue salvia, and lilyturf.
Similarly, spring perennials such primrose and Brunnera are best transplanted and divided in autumn. Following this tip ensures that their bloom cycles aren’t ruined even if they are relocated. Similarly, evergreen shrubs like fatsia and spurge laurels must be transplanted in early spring before new growth occurs. As for deciduous shrubs such as summer lilac and flowering quince, move them at any point in spring as long as they haven’t bloomed.
If you want more space for your garden, you should consider learning how to transplant grass. The process starts with cleaning the area where you will place the sod. Afterward, dig up to six inches of the soil and place them in a wheelbarrow. Apply a bit of nitrogen fertilizer to the dug-up area to help the transplanted grass grow without burning their roots. Likewise, you’ll have to regularly water the newly transplanted grass during its first week.
Small-Spaced Spring Garden Tips
For homeowners with small gardens, you should think creatively. First, you can use vertical gardening to have walls filled with herbs and other small shrubs. This allows you to maximize the limited space you have while having an aesthetically appealing structure. Another tip is to grow shrubs and dwarf varieties of fruit trees in containers. This way, you can move them anywhere you want and even take them indoors if there’s the threat of a late spring frost.
In conclusion, spring gardening is filled with activities that will help you have a healthy and beautiful garden throughout the year. Apart from cleaning, weed removal, and soil testing, you can also conduct transplanting, vertical gardening, and container gardening.
What type of gardening tasks in spring do you do? Feel free to drop a comment in the comment section below!