15 Things to Do This Spring To Prep Your Garden




Photo Credit: Toparius

We asked Craig Jenkins-Sutton, president and co-Founder of Chicago-based Topiarius, Inc., a full-service landscape design firm that offers urban garden and floral services, what are some things we can be doing now during the months of March and April to prepare for our garden. For more ideas, turn to our March issue's article: When Our Thoughts Turn to Spring

First, make a plan. Are there areas that need some improvement?  Do you want to add any additional containers or plants? Did you want to prepare a space for a vegetable garden? A plan ensures there are no mistakes and makes shopping for annuals and perennials easier, allowing homeowners to avoid the wrong colors, sizes and quantities. 

Second, put aside a couple hours to pick and choose the tasks you need to complete.  A list of chores may include:

  • Get a garden or lawn soil test.  They’re inexpensive and provide good information on what nutrients are missing and the type of fertilizer that are needed
  • Turn on outside spigots and attach hoses. Be sure hoses and sprinklers are in working order
  • Clean and sharpen outdoor and garden tools; replace broken and damaged tools
  • Fuel and oil mowers and other power equipment; make sure electrical cords are in good condition
  • Wash away remaining salt and de-icing products to protect plants
  • Build cold frames and start cool season vegetables
  • Rake the lawn to get rid of dead growth, stray leaves, twigs and winter debris, and remove leaves and weeds from borders and beds. Gather all yard debris into a compost pile
  • Pull out weed patches by hand; seed any bare spots
  • Prune broken or dead canes - start high and prune down until you find life in the stems
  • Pot up cool-tolerant annuals such as pansies, alyssum, snapdragons and ranunculus Divide hostas, grasses and daylilies once they show signs of growth. Now is a great time to move plants to a more desirable location
  • Mulch flower beds to a depth of two inches
  • Prune forsythias and other spring-flowering shrubs after they have bloomed, not before
  • Plant shrubs and trees in in rich, loose soil, no deeper than they were in their pots
  • Begin hardening off seedlings
  • Clean outdoor furniture

To learn more about Topiarius and its urban garden and floral services, check out their website.

 

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