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Early Spring Chores to Start the Garden off Right

March 9, 2016

Koi Pond

For most parts of the country it seems like winter is coming to a close. With warmer weather finally in sight, the urge to do something outside might be starting to set in, and March is the perfect time to get out of the house and into the garden. Want to get a head start for the official gardening season but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry we have you covered with some spring gardening chores to get you outside and get a jump start before the season starts.

Get Your Tools Ready

This is probably one of the most important, yet overlooked, tasks that needs to be done for gardening season. Just take a simple inventory of your equipment and see what you have, if you are missing something, put it on your shopping list. Once you have everything, make sure all your tools are clean and ready for the work ahead.

Prune Away

Spring is the prime time to prune your deciduous trees, shrubs, leggy perennials, hybrid tea roses, and floribundas. Sometimes it can be difficult to select what branches to prune away and which ones to keep. This pruning trick will help you make sure the correct branches are staying.

  • Take a look at the tree or shrub you are going to prune, keeping in mind its desired shape. Look at it from multiple angles, perspectives, and distances. Make sure to look up into its canopy.
  • Instead of pruning right away, tie colored indicators, such as twine or ribbon, around each limb you are considering pruning. Keep it like this for a few days, and every time you walk past it, think about what it will look like if you would remove the selected parts.
  • Don’t be afraid to change your mind! It is ok to remove the ribbon or even put it on another limb. Then, take a few more days to see if those are the cuts you really want to make. This will help you feel better about your pruning cuts and ultimately happier with the pruning result.

 

Clean Your Perennial Beds

Now is the time to clean out your beds and get them ready for gardening season. Follow this system for the easiest ways to get your beds ready for spring.

  • Rake leaves and debris before the spring bulbs come up and new growth begins.
  • Get rid of last year’s dead foliage. Make sure to clear foliage from hostas, daylilies, irises, and peonies from your garden, and do not compost them! These plants typically harbor undesired insects and disease that most compost piles cannot kill.
  • Trim back your evergreen perennials. Get rid of the winter ravaged foliage from your hellebores, epimeduim, and liriope to make it easier for the fresh foliage to pop up.
  • Trim damaged boxwood branches. Make sure if you want to do any trimming to do so during mid-March while they are still dormant.
  • Cut back any ornamental grease or other perennials you left over the winter.

 

Spring Cleaning

Take the time now to clean up your garden by fixing steppingstones, removing leaves from ponds or water features, and touching up the mulch. Also, make sure to clean out any birdhouses to make room for them before they start nesting. Lastly, take advantage of a nice spring day and clean your rain gutters to prevent your plants from drowning in excess water.

Taking care of pre-spring chores will ensure you are able to enjoy your garden as much as possible this season. The beautiful spring weather has already arrived in some parts of the country. Get the early spring gardening chores out of the way, and don’t miss a second of precious gardening time.