A re you the type of person who can’t wait to get back into your garden when spring and summer arrive? If so, prepare by finishing these tasks early in the season. Your gardening projects will be far more enjoyable if you take certain essential steps, like checking to ensure your electric grass trimmer, cordless lawn mower, trowel, and more are in good shape.
Beyond ensuring tools are ready for the upcoming season, complete the following projects as early as possible so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor:
Prepping the Garden
There are many post-winter issues you may need to address before planting any seedlings. First, clear away debris from all drainage ditches. Seedlings are most likely to grow to their full potential in soil that drains well.
(Tip: Don’t discard organic material you remove from your ditches, such as dead leaves. Add them to a compost pile instead.)
Take this time to inspect any garden structures such as trellises, fences, and raised beds. These may need to be repaired after winter. If repairs are needed, use oscillating tool blades and attachments to complete the work before planting to avoid any issues during the growing season.
Once you’ve completed all necessary repairs, turn your attention to your garden beds. If there any weeds sprouting up, remove them now. Their roots will be shallow early in the season, making them easy to pull out.
You might also notice bare spots. Cover them with three to four inches of mulch. When the soil is dry enough, you can top dress your beds with compost or manure.
It’s also important to check your soil’s pH. If it’s off, visit your local garden center and ask an expert to recommend the ideal product for making the proper adjustments.
Getting Vegetables & Flowers Ready
You can begin planting vegetable and flower seedlings when the soil is dry enough to crumble in your hand, and free of any ice crystals. Soil that’s too moist gets compacted. This prevents growth.
That said, even after you plant your first seedlings, there may be nights in early spring when temperatures will drop low enough for frost to develop in your garden. Before such nights, protect your seedlings by covering them with overturned pots, buckets, or similar objects.
Keep an eye out for certain pests. To guard against cabbage moth and root maggots, apply barrier paper to the stem base of your plants. If you notice any slugs in the garden, remove them naturally with diatomaceous earth.
Do you have any bulbs that were kept in the house during winter? If so, plant them in your garden during early spring. Just keep in mind that it may be a couple of years before they begin flowering again.
Planting Trees & Shrubs
Begin the season by pruning fruit trees. It’s important to do this before buds start to bloom. If you don’t prune early enough, the tree will be overburdened. Be sure to inspect your pole pruner before working with it. If any components are failing, using it could be hazardous.
Early spring is also the best time to transplant shrubs. That’s because the wet soil allows their roots to expand towards nutrients. Simply find the root mass edges with a spade, dig out under the root ball, remove the shrub, and insert it into a new hole (slightly wider than its previous setting) with compost and fertilizer.
Do you have any pear or apple trees on your property? If so, when buds start to swell on a pear tree, apply horticultural oil, reapplying it 10 days later. Apply it once to apple trees when you can spot about half an inch of green material sprouting from buds. This guards against pests.
Again, gardening should be rewarding and enjoyable. That’s why you should take these essential steps in spring and summer. Doing so makes gardening throughout the rest of the season much easier.