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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Wenzel

Spring Gardening Tips: 7 Essential Tasks

When it comes to the garden, spring is the most labor-intensive season. Spring always seems to have a way of renewing our energy so let's head outdoors and use that momentum to clean out and prepare our garden beds, do some pruning, and start the growing season off with a bang. Here are seven chores you need to do to set up this season's garden for success.

1. Go out and inspect your garden

After dwelling indoors all winter, it's time to check in on the garden. Grab a pen and paper and head out to your little patch of green. There will be plenty to do, and a list is imperative to remember what you need.

  • Look for anything that was damaged by the harsh elements. Anything from plants to fences.

  • Check for beds or planter boxes that will need to be cleaned up or tasks you forgot to do in the fall.

2. Clean, repair, and tidy up

It is advisable to clean the garden beds just before spring bulbs bloom. This includes branches, wet leaves, tall dead grasses, and any annuals you forgot to remove last autumn. Keeping your garden beds clean can prevent pests and diseases from invading.

Tasks like power washing, touch-up paint, scrubbing birdbaths, fountains, and ponds will be easier to do ahead of any planting in your garden. The same is valid for making repairs to your fences, benches, planter boxes, and especially trellises.

3. Test, then feed your soil

Testing your soil is usually recommended every 3-5 years. Spring is the right time to ensure that your soil has the appropriate PH levels for your plants. Once you know what the PH levels are at, you can add what you need to the earth, if anything at all. This is also a perfect time to add a layer of compost to your beds.

4. Check the weather for freezing temperatures

If you reside in an area where late spring freezes and frosts are common, take precautions to protect your plants' delicate buds and foliage. If the buds have not started to open yet, you don't need to cover them. Using ratty old sheets and towels as a protective layer is an option, but you can also buy professional row covers to protect your plants from the cold. Fabrics are best as plastic materials tend to accentuate the cold, causing further damage. In a pinch, you can cover plants with buckets, kids swimming pools, and even a box or upside-down wheelbarrow. Just keep these materials from directly contacting the plant, and they will be fine.

5. Prune and Shape

Not all plants will be ready to prune in the spring but remove anything dead or damaged by winter's hand as a general guide. Anything that blooms early in the spring should be pruned in the fall, so you can still enjoy those blossoms this year. In the spring, boxwood and arborvitae, for example, can also be pruned once the initial bout of new growth has finished.

6. Split and transplant perennials

In the early days of spring, when plants are just beginning to emerge from the ground, divide and transplant any perennials that have dwarfed their space or grown large enough to split. Dividing plants is unnecessary, but you may wish to have that plant somewhere else in your yard or share some with friends and family. For example, instead of planting a tree on Earth Day, try splitting some rhubarb and raspberry canes to share with friends instead. Free food is the best food! Don't disrupt a plant's natural blooming schedule. In most cases, it's best to divide and move perennials in the opposite season of when they flower.

7. Till and weed your beds

Despite your best efforts, those pesky little weeds will still thrive. Get out that tiller and break up the soil, so weeding is easier. After removing weeds, add mulch and weed barriers to keep this task to a minimum throughout the growing season.

In conclusion, it's not hard to see how spring gardening leaves a lot of work on the table. The best thing to do is stop hesitating, put together your action plan, and get started working on one thing at a time.

What did I miss? What essential chores are a must for your garden in the spring? If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, please show us a little love and click the heart. Thanks for reading!

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