Spring Gardening Tips
Posted on: March 25, 2020 |
The weather’s beginning to warm, and the sun seems to be shining a little more brightly. Now that spring is here, you are ready to get outside and enjoy the weather. One way to get extra time outdoors is to be in the garden. Follow our spring gardening checklist below to get your landscaping in tip-top shape.
Tips for a Beautiful Spring Garden
1. Inspect the winter damage.
The winter weather can wreak havoc on your plants and decorations. It’s a good idea to make a list of everything you’ll need to repair or replace.
• Plants with ice damage.
• Plant beds with overgrowth or debris.
• Rotten or damaged hardscaping elements (fences, barrels, benches).
• New animal burrows.
2. Make sure you have all the tools you need.
If you didn’t safely store some equipment before winter, they may need attention. Spend some time sharpening pruning shears and mower blades, oiling wooden handles and replacing anything that you can’t salvage.
3. Start repairing any hardscaping problems.
The ground is still hard in early spring, so you won’t be able to do much planting yet. This is the perfect time to do any hardscaping repairs. Clean out gutters, mend retaining walls, fix trellises and anything else that needs a restorative touch. This is also a good time to plan for any elements you would like to add such as raised beds or patio additions.
4. Conduct a total cleanup.
Before your bulbs start sprouting, you should clear out garden beds. Removing dead plants and debris helps keep pests and diseases away. You should also clean up any nearby water features at the same time. Insects often lay eggs in bird baths and similar containers, so it’s best to get them out now.
5. Order anything special that you want.
You may see some spots that feel empty to you. If you have something particular in mind to fill the gaps, reach out to your local nursery. They can special order some varieties for you that you may not be able to find on a typical shopping trip.
6. Test and feed your soil.
Experts suggest testing your soil for missing or lacking nutrients every 3-5 years. If it’s been awhile for your yard or garden, now is a good time to fix that. The test can tell you if you need to stay away from any fertilizers, if your soil is too alkaline, and more. Read more about soil testing for Toronto gardens from Toronto Public Health.
Once you know what you need, visit your local garden center. They can instruct you on which products to use and general tips for soil maintenance.
7. Start pruning.
Some woody shrubs and trees need to be pruned back in the spring to make room for new growth. If you aren’t sure what to prune and when, there are pruning guides to get you started. You should cut down ornamental grasses before new shoots appear as well.
8. Divide and transplant.
Last year’s perennials may have outgrown their space. If they are ready to divide, separate summer and fall blooming perennials in early spring. If you have ones that will bloom in the spring, wait until fall to do so.
If you have evergreen shrubs, now is the time to transplant them. They’ll need time to re-root before winter, and it is less stress on the plant to move them while they’re dormant.
9. Start planting your container and borders.
Some cool-weather plants are safe to start planting now. You can begin with planting pansies, nemesia and similar plants in your outdoor containers and borders.
Early spring is also a good time to start creating new beds. As soon as the soil is soft enough to work, loosen the dirt and add anything to make the soil rich such as compost or fertilizer. Make sure you get down a good 10 inches or so the roots don’t struggle.
10. Be ready for frost.
We’re not out of the woods yet for freezing temperatures. If you see frost in the forecast, cover any plants that are starting to bud with old sheets, towels or row covers. Do not use plastic as it will increase the effect of the cold. You don’t need to cover plants without buds.
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