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Gena Lorainne from Fantastic Services speaks to Garden Trade Specialist magazine about the best ways to prepare your garden for Spring.
Spring is an ideal time to start off the “gardening season”. So take the time during late winter to prepare the garden for all the new plants and flowers you will sow, by following these steps:
1. Rid your lawn of weeds
The removal of weeds is the first essential step you need to take when preparing your garden for spring. Partaking in this chore will help tidy up the space where your plants will be sown.
Make sure the soil is moist before you start weeding.
For broadleaf weeds, try to remove them by hand while they’re still young. This will prevent them from spreading and thriving on your lawn. On the other hand, when dealing with perennial weeds, make sure you yank the whole thing off as the roots can remain underground. If you fail to do it correctly, these perennials will keep coming back.
When you’re done with the weeding, remove all the fallen twigs and leaves. Then, reseed the spots where the weeds used to be to prevent them from coming back.
2. Work the soil
Preparing your soil for the spring season will guarantee better crops and healthier blossoms. Soil becomes workable once winter frost is gone, therefore early spring is the ideal time to “get down and dirty”.
If your soil is compacted, you will have to loosen it up again through tilling or turning. So, use a tiller to work the soil to around 14 inches in depth. Then proceed to mix compost into the soil to reenergize it.
For clay-based and overall poor soil, use compost to improve its texture, nutrient content and moisture retention. Afterwards, use a rake to evenly mix the soil, while watering it slightly to help it settle.
3. Prune older plants
Now’s the time to prune your shrubs and trees, especially those that grow new wood easily. Begin by sterilizing your tools(like pruning saw, hand shears and topiary shears) after each pruned plant to prevent any diseases from spreading.
Prune them to the point that you can see the branch’s structure clearly. Also, if you want to shape the plant, do it now while its buds are still dormant, as once they awaken, they’ll strengthen the branches.
Some such plants (that require spring pruning) are: roses, honeysuckle, flowering dogwood, redbud and wisteria.
4. Use fertilizer
Enrich your soil with the help of fertilizer, just in time for spring. To get the best of it, apply pre-emergent to help prevent crabgrass from spreading through your garden. After two months, apply it again, this time along with weed killer.
5. Mulch it
Use mulch to fight off and prevent weeds from establishing themselves. However, since mulch can bury seeds that have yet to germinate, it shouldn’t be applied everywhere. Just skip those areas and proceed to the rest.
You can use mulch in combination with compost for healthier soil. Overalls don’t wait, start mulching now, before the weeds start spreading!