Spring has sprung and we need to get our backyards in order so we can have an awesome time relaxing and harvesting on those long warm days of summer. However, before we start work in the garden, there’s a few things to take care of.
1 Get Ready
Before we start work in the garden, there’s a few things to take care of:-
§ First, get outside and have a look at the garden. Is there any winter damage? What’s growing? Any repairs needed? Take photos.
§ Know your garden zone and last frost date. That determines when tender plants can cope.
§ Look over your notes from last year and start this year’s.
§ Start planning. What do you want to grow this year? Any building projects?
§ Visit plant nurseries. Browse. Dream. Plot. Scheme.
§ Stock up on spring seeds, veggie transplants, potting soil.
§ Order bulk delivery of compost and mulch. Check for early bird deals.
§ Start turning compost pile twice a week if possible.
§ Get a soil test from an accredited lab and find out what your soil truly needs.
2 Clean Up Garden Beds | Temperature averages 10°C
1 Avoid walking in your garden beds when the soil is damp: you don’t want to crush all those tender roots underground.
2 It’s time to carefully clear last year’s dead growth when daily temperatures average 10°C or more—the same range that is good for most early seed starting. This allows all those living things that overwintered in the leaves, stems, and whatnot to emerge for the season.
Take your time. Examine things as you work and watch for butterfly cocoons and other natural housing that blends in with the habitat. We want to protect life in the garden.
My basic approach to cleaning up spring garden beds goes like this:
§ Inspect beds for plants that died over the winter but don’t be fooled by slow-growers. When in doubt, wait!
§ Clear any mulch used to cover perennials in winter.
§ Cut away dead leaves and stems from perennials.
3 Transition Plants
For most plants, they should be transitioned near or after your expected last frost date.
The key to successful transitioning from indoors to outdoors or vice-versa, is easy does it! Go as gradually as you can over a week or two.
Did you stash potted trees in a garage or start bulbs in a container last autumn? It’s time to increase light and water.
Once The Risk Of Frost Has Passed:
Harden off (transition) indoor seedlings in preparation for transplanting.
Give houseplants their summer holiday on the patio.
Check last frost dates here…...
4 Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Grasses
Remove winter covers including burlap wraps.
Inspect for winter damage.
Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased branches: this is much easier to do before leaves fill in.
Look up your plants to determine best time to prune for plant health, safety, size, shape, and to stimulate new growth.
Generally, plants that bloom in late summer or autumn are pruned in spring. But you have to check first.
Note any vines needing better trellis or supports.
Trim back dead growth on deciduous grasses, careful not to cut new growth.
Cut back late summer and autumn raspberries.
5 Sow, Divide, Plant, and Propagate
Plant summer flowering bulbs in containers or in the ground as the soil warms.
Sow cool weather veggies for early crops when temperatures are suitable.
Use frost covers, polytunnels, cold frames, or cloches to protect young annuals.
Get geraniums and bulbs out of storage for spring planting.
Reseed patchy areas of lawn or use transplants.
Take softwood cuttings and grow more of your favourite plants.
6 Tools & Equipment
Set up garden hoses, drip systems and rain barrels.
Check that gutters are clear of debris.
Clean and sharpen garden tools.
Get wheelbarrow tire inflated.
Take lawn mower blades in, or do it yourself, to be sharpened and avoid the rush.
Check fountains and ponds, pond pumps, and water plants for summer. Clean out shed and storage areas
7 Wild Things
Clean and set up birdfeeders and bird baths. OR better still, plant some native trees and bushes to feed our wild birds and bees.
Have feeders ready for arriving migrations.
Clean out and set up nesting boxes.
8 Patio & Décor
Clean and set up patio furniture and put out garden art and décor from winter storage.
Do not forget your BBQ
Any big plans for this year?
Greenhouse | Any size!
Fence or privacy walls
Ponds or water features
Shed or tool storage cupboard