Spring gardening is a time to get your plants and lawn ready for the growing season. Before you plant anything in your garden, make sure to check for signs of disease, pests, and weeds. If you see any of these symptoms, it’s best to avoid that plant until you’ve cleaned it up. Weeds are especially prevalent in early spring, so you’ll want to get on it as soon as you can. Start weeding as early as possible, and be sure to pull the young sprouts first.
Planting bulbs in the fall
Planting bulbs in the fall is an ideal way to ensure your garden will be ready for spring. Many of these bulbs have multiple blooming periods and are available in an array of colors and shapes. Some are perennials, while others are annuals. You can select bulbs for their repeat blooming abilities by looking at their blooming time chart.
Before planting any spring-flowering bulbs, be sure to prepare the soil. They need well-drained soil to flourish. In addition, they prefer early to mid-autumn planting, when evening temperatures remain consistently 40 to 49 degrees F. This is about six weeks before the average first frost date.
Bulbs need a well-drained, rich soil, and a good amount of moisture. The depth should be three to four times the bulb’s length, but you may need to plant them two inches deeper if the soil is sandy. Before planting bulbs, take the time to test the soil so you know what kind of amendments to use. Bulbs can be planted in lawns, flower beds, meadows, or rock gardens.
Planting bulbs in the fall for spring gardening is a great way to plan your garden for the following spring. Bulbs can be planted in early winter in warmer climates, but they can also be left in the ground. In cold climates, you can cover the bulbs with mulch or gravel to protect them. You can also cover the bulbs with wire mesh. Then, once the bulbs sprout, you can remove the mesh.
Cleaning up spent blossoms from spring-flowering bulbs
Spring-flowering bulbs have finished blooming, and it’s time to begin cleaning up the spent flowers and seeds. You can leave the plants’ foliage on them, but you can also cut the spent flowers and seeds. Leaves contain carbohydrates and allow the bulbs to store the energy they need to produce the next flowering season.
After spring flowers have faded, you can divide the bulbs and replant them in the fall. You can also dry them so that they will bloom the following year. Depending on the size of your bulbs, this may take a year or two. You should always be aware that the bulbs that produce more than one bloom will not be the same variety.
Spring-flowering bulbs can be grown as either an annual or perennial. Hyacinths, which are also called grape hyacinths, can bloom for several years. Although the flower size of these bulbs may decrease with age, it is still important to remove spent blooms as soon as possible. This will keep the garden clean and the bulbs ready for blooming next year.
After the flowers are finished, fertilize your spring-flowering bulbs. Apply a balanced fertilizer to the soil beneath your bulbs. You can also add a bit of bone meal to your planting bed. Despite their short lifespan, most spring flowering bulbs don’t require much fertilization once they have finished blooming. Too much fertilizer will encourage the bulbs to rot and shorten their flowering period.
Spring is a great time for pruning shrubs. Unlike winter, when plants are in a dormant phase, spring pruning will promote healthy, new growth. It will also keep shrubs shaped and healthy. Pruning shrubs can also encourage flowers and lush foliage. Shrubs should be pruned to ground level, leaving the top portion of the plant uncut.
When pruning shrubs, make sure to prune after flowering. The reason for this is that flower buds form on existing branches, not new growth. Also, pruning after flowering can reduce the shrub’s spring flowering display. If you prune a shrub after flowering, you will miss out on its flowering display, but your shrub will be much healthier.
When pruning a shrub, try to avoid cutting off the top because it will encourage leggy vertical growth and may give your garden an ugly witch’s broom effect. It’s best to prune each individual branch at a time, keeping in mind the natural shape of the shrub.
For deciduous shrubs, the stems should be cut to ground level. Deciduous shrubs should be pruned by 1/4 of their height every year. Pruning early in the spring will encourage vigorous new growth.
Fertilizing plants is a vital part of gardening during the spring season. It is often overlooked by gardeners and can be a time-consuming process. However, fertilizing plants is essential for their health and can prevent a lot of problems. Fertilizer is available in a variety of forms and can be applied directly to the soil or in plant pots.
It is important to fertilize plants before the spring season begins to avoid damaging them and to promote growth. Generally, you should apply a balanced granular fertilizer in early spring to most annuals and perennials. Leaving the fertilizer on the ground until the first spring rains wash it off will result in wasted fertilizer. For lawns, a second granular application in early fall is also beneficial.
If you’re applying granular fertilizer, you must consider the size of the plant and the area around its roots. If you’re applying it to the crown of a plant, you may end up burning its leaves. However, liquid feed will help the plants quickly green up.
A good time to fertilize your garden is in late afternoon or early evening. Before the temperatures fall below freezing, make sure to mix fertilizer with the soil and then rake it into the ground. Then, spread mulch over it to help it penetrate.
Preparing beds for planting
One of the first steps in preparing beds for spring gardening is adding compost. This is a great way to add nutrients to your soil, but you have to be careful not to disturb the roots of your existing plants or the stems of your plants. This can encourage disease. Instead, work the compost into the surface of the soil. Over time, the compost will break down and release nutrients into the soil. It will also help retain moisture and protect the soil’s surface. Then, if you have existing beds with annuals, turn over these to add compost.
Adding organic matter can help improve the soil’s texture and structure, and will also improve flower blooms. Another benefit to adding organic matter is that it doesn’t contain any sewage sludge or biosolids. The soil needs air to breathe, so the addition of organic matter will help the soil stay at a healthy pH.
Soil preparation does not have to be difficult. A layer of compost, half an inch or a full inch, can add vital nutrients to your soil and improve its ability to retain water. Purchasing compost at a garden center can be expensive, but you can look for free or inexpensive bulk compost on Craigslist or Facebook pages.
A good way to add organic matter to your soil is by using green manure. This type of material can be applied over the winter and added to the soil before planting. It will also provide a nitrogen rich fertilizer to your soil. Green manure is usually spread under beds before the spring planting season.
Creating a spring garden checklist
Spring is the season of new growth, and it’s a great time to nurture your garden’s new life. As everything begins to turn green, you’ll be surrounded by the vibrant colors of new plants. In preparation for this exciting season, you can make a spring garden checklist to keep yourself organized and on schedule.
First, check the structure of your garden. If there are any damaged sections, repair them. You should also prepare planting materials for the season. In addition, spring is the time to plant bulbs and other early-blooming perennials. A good gardening checklist includes notes about the changes that need to be made in your garden.
Next, add some organic matter to the soil. Mulching will add valuable organic matter to the soil. You can also add cover crops before you begin planting in the spring. And, if you have citrus plants or vegetable plants, use a special food for them. Adding mulch will help retain moisture and keep the soil healthy.