Every season brings a different set of chores in the garden. Spring is an exciting time for gardeners as preparations are made for the bounty and beauty of the garden as it awakes from winter hibernation. It can also, however, be a bit overwhelming to know how to prioritize your gardening time at this time of year.
Tip #1: Wear long sleeves, pants, a hat, and gloves. And, even though that grass feels great between your toes, closed-toe shoes and sunscreen are a must. Bend and lift with your knees and not your back to ensure you do not injure yourself.
Tip #2: Curb your enthusiasm. Take breaks in the shade, drink lots of water, and periodically slather on the sunscreen.
Tip #3: Even though it is tedious...know the following: Have a plan for your garden, know your soil type, know your cold hardiness zone. Without this information you will waste money, time and effort of purchasing what will grow best. Also note what areas are sunny and which are shady so that you can buy the plants that grow well in those light conditions.
Tip #4: Add a focal point to your landscape to up the curb appeal and add design in your front yard space. Focal points can be anything from a row of flowering shrubs to a stunning tree.
Tip #5: Apply the "1/3 Rule." Purchase three plants, all perfect for your spot, because one will die, one will barely survive, and one will thrive. Plan on it.
Tip #6: Make sure you have all the right tools in order. Send the mower and leaf blower in for servicing. Tie red ribbon onto your hand tools so that you can find them again once they get buried in a pile of leaves or weeds. Take an inventory and make sure you have everything you need before you start a project
Tip #7: Prune trees and shrubs, remove dead, damaged and diseased branches from woody plants, thin and trim summer blooming shrubs, prune cold-damaged wood after plants resume spring growth, trim spring blooming shrubs and trees after flowering....weed, weed, weed...
Tip #8: Fertilize and mulch beds and borders. Spring is also a good time to fertilize fruit trees. If you applied heavy winter mulch for protection from the cold, you will need to clear it away.
Tip #9: Stake plants that may be prone to wind damage during the unpredictable spring weather.
Tip #10: Spring is the best time to start a new lawn from seed. For established lawns, you should start mowing in the spring, but don't initially cut the grass very short for the first few times.
Tip #11: Place a soap dish and towel holder beside the outside water spigot so you can wash your hands, arms, and neck several times a day. And before you crack open that end-of-the-gardening-day beverage, shower like you mean it. Good, old-fashioned soap does wonders for washing away the dirt, poison ivy, and who knows what else.
Of course, whether you start these chores in early, mid, or late spring depends on the climate where you live, taking in to account such factors as when the threat of frost has past or when the ground is thawed enough to dig. I hope these tips will give you a good idea as to where to focus your attention in your garden this spring. Enjoy!
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