Finally, the end of winter is near! You’re probably eager to start spending time in your garden, planting new types of flowers and trimming bushes around the house. But, in order for your hard work to be fruitful, you need to do a couple things while spring is still a few weeks away and prepare your garden for new seeds and plants. Here is what to do for Spring Planting.
After a couple of months of stormy weather, your garden will be full of the debris of broken branches and leaves. Before new spring bulbs start appearing on your garden beds, make sure the beds are cleared. Cut back the old growth of deciduous grasses and perennials. Do the same thing with trees and bushes – trim off broken branches and prune the trees.
Save yourself a lot of headache by dealing with hibernating pests. If you look carefully at the crown of perennial plants, maybe you’ll notice slugs or snails tucked in. Clear your last year’s summer pots and watch out for the white vine weevil larvae that use plant roots as food.
Your gardening tools may be carrying diseases or pests, so scrub them really good before you actually use them. It’s best to use soap and water, while mineral spirits are good for wood handles, as they prevent them from splintering.
First, turn the soil over using a pitchfork and then rake it. This way, you’ll get rid of the weeds hiding in the ground. Next, spread some compost over the soil, whether from your own bin or you can buy one or two packages at the store. Whenever you’re planning to start planting, add the compost a couple of weeks prior to the planting, so there’s enough time for the compost and soil to mix, without endangering the roots of plants you’re about to grow.
Try to prepare as many types of seeds as you can. There are tons of places where you can find non GMO and organic seeds – ask your neighbors and friends, check at hardware stores, visit a flower fair… Just make sure you do the research on what exactly plants you want to have in your garden because some need a lot of attention, others don’t really flourish with other plant species, while some will take up a lot of space. Actually, it’s better if you draw your garden on a paper so you can have a clear picture what will grow where.
You need to thoroughly wash your greenhouse, but before you start, keep in mind that greenhouses are not just another place where you can store the things you rarely use. If you desperately need more space, look up some excellent storage facilities to keep your things safe. If your greenhouse has become piled up with old chairs and broken pots, clean up the mess first and then sweep out the plant debris and get rid of trays of seedlings. Next, disinfect everything using a hot solution of a disinfectant. Make sure you’ve covered the whole surface, including inside of the glass, as winter pests can be hiding in the tiniest corners. The pots and seed trays that you don’t throw away should be cleaned. Lastly, ventilate the whole place for a couple of days so that it dries completely.
Now is the time to install water butts and be prepared for collecting rainwater. Rainwater is both good for the environment and for many plant species, such as Rhododendron and Camellia, as tap water is too alkaline for them. Just remember to put the butts under a downpipe to collect as much rainwater as possible.
You don’t want to be dealing with a broken fence when your garden beds are covered with flowers, so better to fix it now. Check all the gates and trellis, too, and treat all the wooden surfaces with a wood preservative.
With all of this winter work out of the way, you and your garden will be ready for a long period of sun, warmth and colorful flowers. There won’t be any unpleasant surprises in the spring, just abundance of seeds to plant and flowers for you to grow. Enjoy it!
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