A great garden requires forethought and preparation to develop. Before the planting begins in the spring, there are a number of considerations that will lay the groundwork for the most abundant garden in the season ahead.
Think big picture. What are the main things that you ideally want to get out of your gardens. Is it family dinners on the patio? Friends gathered around a firepit? A herb and vegetable garden to cook from? Let yourself get lost in the feeling of it and jot down some of the ideas and describe what you are imagining.
Spring cleanup. A good spring cleaning that removes weeds, mulch, and debris, until you are back to the bare soil. Organic matter can go on the compost pile to break down and well-composted mulch or organic matter can stay right where it is to be incorporated into the soil.
Pruning. Many trees, shrubs and woody ornamentals could use a good trim this time of year. With the structure exposed in the dormancy of late winter, now is the perfect time to prune back old wood and shape the specimen before the buds appear. Make sure to do your research or rely on Blondie’s expertise, not all plants call for springtime pruning.
Map out new garden beds. Now is the time to get to the drawing board and map out exactly where any new garden beds will be. This is where your ideas start coming to life as you create specific areas of intention. You will also begin to see the actual square footage of the proposed area and can start selecting what plant material can go where… very exciting!
Divide and conquer. As certain perennials grow and establish themselves, they tend to crowd themselves over time. Plants such as daylilies, hostas and iris can all be subdivided and spread throughout the garden.
Prepare your soil. A couple weeks prior to planting anything is the time to amend and ready your garden beds. Early spring is the ideal time to turn over your soil, making sure it is not compacted, add in nutrients and compost, remove any stray weeds and add new soil if it is needed. Lastly mix in your fertilizer and top it off with mulch.
We know that it can seem like a lot, but taking these simple steps to get your gardens ready is the best way to start the year and will help your gardens to flourish!