Get Your Spring Garden Growing

The arrival of spring is a celebration for gardeners everywhere. At this time of year, the local garden centres are practically mobbed with eager green thumbs looking for spring bulbs and seeds. Some say gardening helps relieve stress and brings great satisfaction. But another great reason to beautify your garden is because landscaping such as shrubs, trees, flowering plants and a healthy lawn can actually increase your property's value. You don't need to be an avid gardener to get a head start this season. There are plenty of resources available for tips and advice; your local library or bookstore will have a variety of books and magazines to help you visualize what you want. Gardening information abounds on the Internet as well.

The first job for most people will be a thorough clean up after winter. Unless you were really efficient before the snow flew, you will need to cut down dead plants, rake leaves, apply compost, empty planters and generally tidy things up.

Prepare and plan
Because garden centres are so busy this time of year, you will need to develop a plan or sketch of what you want your garden to look like. Break your yard into areas -some for enjoying sunshine, others for growing vegetables and others for appreciating the beauty of flowers, shrubs, trees and foliage.

Plan where your flower and vegetable beds will go, taking into consideration factors such as sun, shade, heat, reflected light, wind and soil conditions. Start a shopping list of what seeds, bedding plants and shrubs you will need and then head out to the garden centre.

When to start
A good rule of thumb is to check other outdoor plants for clues. When spring bulbs and crocuses come into bloom, the soil is usually warm enough to start digging. The ground should also be thawed enough to divide and move perennial flowers and herbs, plant shrubs and trees and to start rejuvenating your lawn. It's also a good time, then, to prune bushes.

Spring gardening tips
Prepare your flower beds by deeply digging the soil and adding com posted manure. Loosen heavy clay soil by adding peat moss.

Plant perennials now and enjoy them for years to come. Pay attention to the different blooming times and plan for a sequence of colour all season long.

Tidy up your spring bulbs by removing faded flowers. Don't cut down the leaves of your spring bulbs until the foliage turns brown; bulbs need their leaves to replenish food reserves for next year's flowers.

Plant summer flowering bulbs such as freesia, gladiolus, dahlias, lilies and anemones.

Plant annuals and vegetables once all risk of frost has passed.

Continue to feed your neighbourhood birds if you have seed available; not only will you enjoy seeing the birds all summer long, but birds help to reduce the insect population.

 
 

 

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