Getting That Spring Garden Up & Running

Getting That Spring Garden Up & Running

 ~Samantha Lewis

It does not matter where you live (even if it is in a still cold, windy place after all this time of a hideous winter). The days that do allow the sunshine to peek through the gray clouds are putting that urge into homeowners who want nothing more than to clean up, erase the winter turmoil, and make a garden that is both beautiful and unforgettable.

Harris_Garden_Flower_Bed Just as it is with reading, spring gardening is a hobby that many take extremely seriously. They love the outdoors – they are sick and tired of sitting inside – and they want to get their home back in shape. While spring cleaning goes on inside the house, that garden is just calling out to be prepared and tended.

Some would call this a way to reconnect with the earth (the earth, that in the East, has not been seen for a while except in the form of snow). People love getting their hands dirty in the garden – not only does it allow for better health because you are exercising, but it also gives people a way to de-stress from a long work week and unwind, feeling good about themselves as they create something wonderful.

So…how to begin?  Well, there are plenty of gardening tips that appear in many catalogs and magazines out there in America, but the yard tasks that may be a little more mundane do have to be completed first, before the bulbs and beauty go into place.

Cleaning drainage ditches and removing all the leaves, twigs, etc., must be done first. The spring rains are coming in droves (just check the weather report for this week), and that rain needs good runoff so that nothing harms the house and the water can be used to better tend the soil and grass, bringing it back to life to work well for the items you will be planting.

When it comes to seedlings in springtime, they do far better in soil patches that drain very well, and because this is the time of year for slow growth, it is the prime time to make sure that good runoff is there. And there is no waste where this task is concerned: all cleared items can be used in the compost piles to make them more rich in carbon and better help the plants to grow.

If you are one of those homeowners that have already made a stunning garden in the past, with framework and buildings added to the grounds, now is also the time to fix and repair. The winter has done some devious things this year, and the soil that is extensively wet can bring harm to the raised beds or trellises or other framework that have been placed. If things are bowed or broken, make sure to drive in the new stakes needed to make sure any raised garden beds are set well and will not come apart once planting is complete.

We also have a hard time with those killer weeds that are set so deeply into the ground it feels like we need a forklift to remove them. But because of the spring rains and the melting of the snow, now is the easiest time to pull them up and out…without needing to spend money on massage or chiropractic treatments later on in the week. The roots are shallow at this time of year, and once pulled, the homeowner or gardener can cover any bare spots with mulch or ground cover to halt any new weed growth from coming in and taking over.

And to reduce any rot on the stems of younger plants, as well as fruit trees and seedlings, add mulch to the garden beds and around the base of trees slightly away from the trunk itself. In this way, you are offering protection from weeds, rains, and giving help to stop any little critters who have also come out of winter hiding and are looking for ways to ‘dine’ on your work.

When the rains finally slow, those garden beds need to have compost or manure added so that you can prepare better for planting, but don’t dig quite yet – those nutrients are needed so that Mother Nature can do her side of the gardening job to the best of her ability before you begin.

In the end, put the book down and get outside! Even though the winter months brought you and your property down, that perfect garden is just waiting out there to grow; it is calling out to you to bring Spring in with style!

 

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