Have Fun Spring gardening tips
One day it's a bleak winter, the next we wake to a warm breeze and blue skies. We're sure that spring is upon us so we run eagerly into the yard with shovel, rake and seeds, intent upon transforming the landscape into a colorful paradise.
But wait! The end product will only be as good as the foundation it's built on. If you prepare in early spring, you'll be rewarded later in the season.
Order Soil Testing
Contact Landscaping Pros Early
When putting in a new lawn, make arrangements early for sod delivery or be prepared to buy sod as soon as it is delivered to garden centers. Accept only moist sod rolls, rejecting any that have yellowed turf or dry roots.
Keep a Garden Journal
Try to jot down some of your successes and failures from last year. This information can be an invaluable guide to this year's garden.
Throw Away Outdated Chemicals
Till the Soil
When opening a new garden bed, dig it to about eight inches, removing clods and stones as you go. Add no more than 1-1/4 inches of organic matter (compost and/or aged barnyard manure) plus any other fertilizers or supplements that the soil analysis recommends, and dig in evenly.
Try hard to refrain from planting seeds or setting in early-spring vegetable or flower transplants for an additional week. Instead, lightly rake the soil each day to dislodge sprouting weeds.
Bare root shrubs, roses and trees can go in when the soil is workable. While the soil is cool, their roots begin to grow. These are generally less expensive than container grown plants. Buy top grade roses, trees and shrubs. They could be part of your landscape far after the mortgage is paid off.
Cold-weather loving plants, like spinach, peas (both the decorative and edible varieties) and ornamentals such as pansies, can withstand some frost.
But hold off on putting in peppers and tomatoes without protective devices around them until there isn't a hint of frost on the horizon. Ask at the garden center when the last expected frost generally occurs in your area.
Remember to Prune
The same thing happens in the kitchen garden. Spinach and lettuce make way for warm season crops like squash and corn. Set a plan early to incorporate changes, and your garden will be always useful and colorful.