spring gardening preparation

How to Prepare for Spring Gardening

Preparing your garden for spring can happen as early as the fall and continue straight through the winter, making gardening a year round event. Gardening entails more than just planting new flowers or shrubs. If you are anxious to get outside and get started as soon as the weather turns nice, there are plenty of things you can do to get your garden ready.

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Prepare the ground for new beds by laying 5 or 6 newspaper sheets deep and putting compost on top. Several inches of compost will help suffocate any growth underneath the newspaper. Do this in winter or before steady snowfall.

Shop for seeds in winter and then plant the seeds indoors per package directions. Calculate the time with the last frost so they will be ready to move outdoors.

Cut back ornamental grasses in late winter.

Prune vines away from plants, bushes and trees so the vines do not choke them out. Do this in late winter when they are easier to see. Remove the vines completely if necessary.

Clean your gardening tools and supplies so they are ready to go when spring arrives. Survey the tools you have versus the tools you need. Service your lawn mower and sharpen any tools. Plan your garden and determine if you need any new garden accessories.

Clean all the gutters on your house to protect any plants that may be underneath from overflow of water or melting snow. You may need to wait until late winter, early spring when the snow and ice have melted.

Fix stone or rock walls or walkways not sealed with concrete or mortar in early spring after the threat of snow and ice have subsided. Since they are dry stacked, the winter and small animals can move and shift the walls or walkways. Rake uneven ground and fill in holes animals may have made.

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Rake the leftover leaves from fall so your landscape is ready for grass maintenance and new planting. If you live in a snowy climate, leaves tend to be hidden under piles of snow. It is important to clean up the leaves as soon as you can as decaying leaves give off toxins that will damage plants.

Remove debris such as rocks, twigs and branches along with dead pieces of leaves in early spring when the snow has melted. They are often hidden under or in existing bushes or throughout dry rock walls.

Check out your mulch to see if you will need fresh mulch. Fluff the mulch and spread it out evenly in early spring after the last of the snow has melted.

Prune or move your perennials in early spring. Cut them back to the shape you want, transplant or divide them to move to another spot.

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