A new season is under way. Are you ready? Here’s a to-do list to get your garden in top shape!
1) Pull Weeds
It is best to eliminate weeds in early spring. Weeds are a lot easier to pull in the soft moist soil. If you wait too long, it will be harder to pull weeds out of the dry summer ground. It is very important to remove weeds so they don’t have an opportunity to get deeply rooted. To prevent weeds from spreading, pull them before they are ready to seed.
2) Prune the Summer-Blooming Shrubs
It is prime time to prune summer flowering shrubs from end of winter to early spring. These shrubs include abelia, butterfly bush, beautyberry, caryopteris, clethra (summersweet), smooth hydrangea, panicle hydrangea, rose-of-sharon, St. Johnswort, crape myrtle, summer-blooming spirea and vitex. There is no danger of cutting off flower buds from last year. For spring blooming shrubs, prune right after they flower.
3) Fertilize Flower Beds
When the ground thaws, lay down granular fertilizer around shrubs, trees and perennials. Be sure to use the appropriate product for the plants you will be growing.
4) Inspect Trees and Shrubs for Winter Damage
Cut off any dead or broken branches. Also cut off any evergreen tips that have died from the cold winter.
5) Clean Out Dead Perennial Leaves
Rake or clip off browned leaves if you haven't already from last fall. By getting rid of dead leaves, it will promote new growth. If any perennials have sprouted up because of winter freezing and thawing, pack them down so the roots will not be exposed. Add an inch of mulch and water the area.
6) Divide Perennials
There is a perfect time frame to divide perennials right before new growth begins. Make sure to replant the divided clumps as soon as possible. Add water after they have been moved. If perennials are already blooming, keep them where they are. You can divide them in the fall if it’s too late.
7) Rake Matted Leaves
Your lawn and garden beds should be raked free of leaves so your plants can get sunlight. After clearing all leaves, patch any bare spots in your lawn. If there are leaves around trees or shrubs, you can just add mulch over top instead of raking.
8) Remove Winter Protection
After the threat of frost has disappeared, remove all protective materials you laid down over your plants before winter. Also, pull any stakes from trees if they have been planted for more than a year.
9) Problem Prevention
If you’ve had crabgrass in the past, apply crabgrass control on your lawn. If you have weeds already growing in your lawn, there are products to kill existing weeds, prevent weeds and fertilize in one application. You could also add weed preventer on your garden beds.
10) Edge Beds
The end of winter is a great time to cut edges around garden beds. Adding an edge creates a lip to contain mulch, it also helps your beds look neat and tidy.