After the cold, dreary months of winter, spring has the habit of sneaking up on us and of taking us by surprise. To get the best out of summer, it pays to be prepared! So, what should gardeners do now to make this the best spring ever in your garden? Plan ahead! It is the great secret of gardening success, so let’s look at what we should be planning and doing to get the best out of spring now.
Check Your Plants and Trees
Winter can be rough, and storms cause damage frequently. Look around the backyard and see that intact everything came through. Make a note of plants that need pruning, such as flowering shrubs for summer and fall, dogwoods for red-twigs roses, apple trees, to name a few and plan to do so soon. If the limbs on the trees have been damaged, the swelling of the barque at the point where the branches meet the trunk cuts them back to the collar.
Do not cut flush with the trunk, as this makes it simpler for decay to set up and spread into the tree. Maybe if your hedge has collapsed, it’s time to plant a new one, order the best new plants now and plan to prepare the soil well with deep digging and composting.
Clean Up and Prepare
No matter how well you raked and cleaned the garden last autumn, winter always brings more debris. As soon as you can get outside, rake up any remaining leaves from the fall. Check if you have any unsafe trees or branches, before you get back into the garden, you may need to do some heavy duty pruning of your trees to make it safe in the backyard before you begin!
They may also be the locations of diseases and some pests over-wintering, although they are often considered mulch. If they are properly composted, the raised temperature will kill most things, but those lying under your bushes are best disposed of.
Later, when the soil has warmed up to feed your plants and to conserve water, you should replace them with organic mulch. But if you do this early, while the ground is cold or frozen, you will keep the soil cold longer, slowing down both the development of new shoots and the microbial action in the soil that releases nutrients.
Go around and loosen the surface with a cultivator once the soil has dried a bit. With this, your beds will not only look great, they will remove weeds that have gone through winter, and let air into the soil, warm it and get things started sooner.
Winter often causes moss and algae to grow on your paths and other hard surfaces. Rent a power washer for an afternoon and give them a thorough cleaning. Use water, not strong detergents, as the spray from the washer will almost certainly reach the plants, and harsh cleaners can damage their foliage.
You can also use this time to check over your fencing as the cold weather can often cause structural damage. Look over the posts and see if there is any loosening of the surrounding earth. You can also inspect the fencing for any deterioration and to see whether you require repairs or fencing maintenance. You may even need to look at a new minneapolis vinyl fence installation if your current fence is looking beyond repair. A new fence can really help to enhance the beauty of your garden and add curb appeal to your home.
Pick Your New Bulbs and Seeds!
While the majority of your garden will be trees and shrubs, make room for some flowers, too. The best time to order is now while the seeds and bulbs are still fresh and available. In addition to perennial ground-covers, certain easy-to-grow annual flowers such as poppies or sweet alyssum are always cheerful.
Look for flowers that can be seeded directly on to the soil in a sunny spot in front of your shrubs. This is the simplest way to have flowers, without requiring transplantation. Sow early unless you get late frosts, so seedlings have time to develop well otherwise late seeding may not flourish this year. Following flowering, some will even seed themselves and return next year.
Another way of bringing flowers in summer is with summer bulbs. These are planted in spring and flower that same year. Plants like Caladium in shady corners, or Canna lily in sunny places, are an easy way to give a tropical summer look to your garden, and let you pretend to be in the Caribbean. Crocosmia are bright red and orange flowers which with iris-like foliage, bring a dramatic splash to the fall garden. In warmer areas, they will overwinter, but you need to replant them in cold locations every spring.
Get Your Order in for New Trees!
If old plants have been damaged, maybe it’s time for something new to replace them. You may have some gaps in your garden, or you may want to look at something different in your garden, like all gardeners. Do you have seasons in which there isn’t much in bloom? Just think of what you need.
Choose something at that time that blooms. It seems obvious, but in reality, individuals tend to fall in love with specific plants rather than considering their garden as a whole. From late winter to late fall, go for a flowering spread, and also include some fall coloured foliage. You can still grow what you love, just make sure you balance the flowering seasons. It
Always make space for something special that makes yours this garden. Select something with a striking shape, unusual foliage, dramatic flowering, rareness, or some other feature that makes it special. An essential part of a garden is regular, well-known plants, providing stability and structure, but it will be the tree that no one else has that will make your garden stand out.
The best nurseries sell out quickly, and you want your plants to be on the ground soon, so don’t delay ordering, while there is still the widest range available.
Make Note of Some New Ideas for Your Garden
Make this the year you tackle that neglected corner of the garden. Put the new entertaining patio in there. Replace old space-taking hedges with new, slender hedges that will give you the garden space you didn’t know you had. Make a more appealing gateway to your home. Make 2018, whatever you do, the year that those garden dreams become reality.
There are few things more satisfying than making a beautiful garden to spend the summer months in, and it doesn’t take a lot of skill-just a little bit of getting dirty and encouraging the plants to grow. They do the actual work for us!
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