Posted By: Michelle Kuehler /
Spring has officially sprung! New life is springing from the earth, new buds are blooming and the weather is warming. This is a time for rebirth…and spring cleaning. If you haven’t begun your spring cleaning in the garden, now is the time. So, pull on those rain boots, slip on those gardening gloves, grab a rake and start cleaning!
Start from the Ground Up
Begin by collecting the large twigs and any branches that have fallen during the winter. Use a wood chipper to create your own mulch or see if your town will collect them for the same purpose.
Remove any weeds or grass that has encroached onto your plant beds and remove any dead annuals. Make sure that the weeds have not gone to seed and that the annuals are free of disease and pests before adding them to your compost bin.
Time for a Trim-Up
Trim any overgrown bushes, shrubs and trees after you begin to see growth at the base but before they begin to bud. Most perennials need to be cut back in order to encourage new growth. Remove any dead limbs, branches or anything infected by disease. Dispose of any diseased items. Then, rake the clippings up along with any dead leaves and small twigs and add them to your compost bin.
Build a Clean and Healthy Canvas
Healthy soil is the canvas for healthy plants. Test your soil and amend any imbalances. If your soil is rich and healthy, add a top dressing of compost, manure or a slow-release fertilizer like Nature’s Balance 231, which also helps restore the proper soil environment and accelerate the natural composting process.
Divide and Conquer
If you need to divide, transplant or stake any of your plants, now is the time, while the ground is still malleable and the weather is mild. Take care of this task as soon as new growth begins to emerge to let your plants grow with the stake and to diminish transplant shock. If you are transplanting to containers, wash old containers with soap and bleach to kill of any disease prior to transplanting.
Give it a Little More Time
Wait until the weather warms up a bit more and plants have a chance to germinate. Then add a layer of mulch to conserve water and to protect your plants from the heat and intrusive weeds.
Rinse off the patio, dust off the stairs and walkways, clean the bird bath and wash any patio furniture. Tackle your shed or garage next. Organize and take an inventory of your gardening products and tools. Clean any tools used in prior years with soap and bleach to kill of disease.
Spring cleaning may sound like a big to do, but it can be fun! Get the kids involved by letting them jump into leaf piles or just enjoy the warming weather and the rebirth of spring. Spring is all about new beginnings. Give your garden a new beginning by starting it off right with these chores.