Spring is finally here. Long gone are the cold winter months and life seems to start anew. As the days become longer and the weather gets warmer, many of us wonder what to do with our lawns. Taking advantage that most plants and weeds have perished from the cold, spring is the perfect opportunity to do a makeover or to plan a garden from scratch.
However, even if you are an expert landscaper or complete beginner, if you want to have a mature garden by the end of the season you need to take the right steps. Although, It might seem like a daunting task, following these tips can make your garden the envy of the neighborhood.
Plan your garden.
Before any flower blooms, you first need to know what you want to plant. Whether you would like to grow your own vegetables, have a picturesque array of flowers or beautiful perennial plants that can withstand harsh weather, you need to plan ahead.
There are many things to take into account. Not all vegetables grow at the same time or require the same care; lettuce is a great place to start, but tomatoes are more delicate. Flowers can bloom at different time and you need to consider what shades of green you want.
Once you have made your choice, it is best to start small. Do not go full scale and change your whole lawn. Try with a small plot of land and, if you are successful, move on to a different area.
Prepare the soil.
Soil is the most important part of your garden. If you don’t prepare it correctly you might lose of your time and effort and all your work would be in vain. There many thing to take into consideration, whether it is best to dig or not, check if your soil is missing any nutrients or check for PH-levels.
Since it is best to wait for mid-April or early May to avoid any unexpected frost or late snow that could harm your plants. You could use this time to test your soil and find out what it needs. That way you will know what the most suitable plants for your project are.
Depending of what you have decided to plant, you need to do it at a specified time of the year. Plants such as kale and pansies can tolerate the cold so you can still plant them in late winter. However, tomatoes and daylilies have to be planted once there is no risk of frost.
You need to also consider whether you want to plant seeds or use transplants. Sunflowers and lettuce can easily spring from seeds. However, if you feel less adventurous or want to start right away it is better to buy some plants from a nursery. If you choose the latter be careful not to choose plants with yellow leaves or that are already in bloom as they might not last the whole season.
Make sure to add fertilizer to your soil or add a 4 in layer of compost to guarantee that your plants will have all the nutrients they need.
What to do next
As soon as you have finished planting, you need to start watering for at least 20 min a day until the plants spring. If you don’t water constantly your seed will remain dry and not flower.
You may also think about adding some mulch to protect and nourish your plants. This will prevent the growth of weeds the spread of diseases. Make sure to add mulch a few inches away from the roots to prevent rotting.
Maintaining your garden
As the season progresses, there are a few extra steps to consider if you are looking for a healthy garden. A great idea is to start a compost pile by using organic materials, plant debris and leaves. You can also it with some earth as used coffee from the coffee maker. Once is has gained a black or brownish color, you could use it to provide your garden with extra nutrients or to prepare for next year.
Also, make sure to trim and prune your plants. Water constantly if there is not much rain. You may also consider adding new flower beds and plant annuals or more perennials to add different shades of green.
By following some of the tips and with some trail and error my adjusting to what your plants needs you will a beautiful garden by the end of spring and one that will flourish late into the summer.