For many homeowners, spring is undoubtedly one of the most important seasons in gardening. After all, this is when the temperature begins to warm up after winter. The soil stops being frozen and soggy to become ideal for planting once again. Similarly, your plants are switching from their dormant stage to one of active growth. So, how can you fully utilize this period of the year? Here, we’ve made a comprehensive list of gardening tasks and projects for spring.
Early spring is a perfect time for removing the dead or rotten foliage of ornamental grasses on your lawn. If you do it at a later period when they have returned to active growth, the grasses can be damaged during pruning. When you do it in time, however, the removed dead parts will immediately be replaced with new grass growth.
If you couldn’t prune them back in the late stage of winter, you can still do it in early spring. Don’t let the buds of your fruit trees to bloom before you prune them. Otherwise, they could suffer from stress. Additionally, any of the clippings must be gathered and removed if you will mow the grass under the fruits trees in the coming summer season.
If you want to improve the soil in your garden beds, you don’t always have to dig up the soil. This is especially true if you have an established raised garden bed that already has a diverse soil ecosystem. Thus, the best option is to apply a topdressing mixture using compost. You can also use manure as long as it isn’t fresh. Eventually, the nutrients from the mixture will move down into the soil of your garden beds.
Getting rid of the plant skeletons of tomatoes and squash can be done in fall. However, spring is the next best period for doing so, especially if you will grow new plans in your garden bed. In fact, these removed plant skeletons can be mixed to your compost heap as long as they do not carry any diseases.
Heavy snowfall or rainfall during winter could put stress on your raised garden beds. Check them thoroughly and see if any of the sides have begun to lean or bow. Place new stakes in the leaning sideboards and adjust the soil. Likewise, get some screws or nails to tightly keep the sideboards and stakes together.
New and existing perennials alike need attention in spring. For perennial flowers such as daffodils, dianthus, and woodland phlox, they need to be in a new garden bed with a thick layer of organic matter. In particular, six inches of compost, well-seasoned manure, or peat moss should help the perennial flowers to grow well in spring.
Ideally, the soil rich in organic matter will prepare them for the intense summer heat. As for the current perennial beds, any debris must be removed. Furthermore, mulching is encouraged in these beds to impede the proliferation of weeds. If you have asparagus, place some stakes in the ground to support their lengthy growth in late spring.
Similarly, early spring is a time for fixing both fences and trellises. It is no longer cold and the area is no longer slippery and wet. In addition, the plants have yet to fully wake up from their dormant period, so you won’t affect too many roots or foliage.
Throughout winter, fallen leaves, dirt, and other debris accumulate in drainage areas. If the soil isn’t well-draining and runoff happens all the time when it’s raining, your seedlings won’t grow well. Thankfully, the early period of spring is a good time for removing any debris from the drainage areas. This is due to the fact your plants are focusing on root growth instead of foliage growth at this stage. Moreover, you can use any of the removed leaves and branches for your compost heap.
Apart from cleaning the drainage areas, you also need to work on your entire lawn. Over the winter, your lawn would have accumulated a lot of debris and dead leaves. Rake your lawn to allow more sunlight and air to reach the soil and help the grass to grow.
Likewise, parts of your lawn would have succumbed to frost, pests, and disease during the previous season. Spring is the perfect time to cover these bare patches with new grass through reseeding. Deeply rake the bare patches before reseeding. Once the seeds have been planted, water the patches frequently until germination firm root establishment occurs.
The relaxing chirping of birds is one of the most common things associated with spring. To make this a reality, why not entice them with your birdhouses and birdfeeders? First, remove any bird nests that are no longer occupied. Second, clean the bird feeders to make it easy for the birds to find their food. Third, clean the birdbath and regularly replace the water. You would not want any harmful bacteria to build up in those birdbaths.
Here is a video of cleaning a birdhouse:
If the soil pH in your garden is below 6.2, you should definitely consider adding lime to the soil in early spring. Ideally, lime must be added a month before you grow plants in your garden. We suggest using dolomite or ground limestone, although the latter won’t be as immediately effective as the former.
Hydrate lime is another option, but this one adjusts the soil pH so fast that it could damage your plants. Regardless of what you use, the garden beds that have been applied with lime must be covered with plastic when it’s raining.
An important thing here is to be cautious of the soil. Even though spring has arrived, the soil won’t immediately be good enough for planting. Wait until the soil no longer has any ice crystals. It shouldn’t soggy or compacted either. Once the soil has warmed up, proceed with planting early spring crops. These include leeks, peas, and spinach.
The late spring frost is dangerous to your plants, but so is early spring frost. If you’ve proceeded with growing the aforementioned early spring crops, you need to ensure their survival when a sudden extreme frost arrives overnight. Check the local weather forecast and prepare the materials.
You don’t necessarily have to spend for frost protection. You can temporarily use the buckets in your house to cover the early spring seedlings. Similarly, you can get empty cardboard boxes and keep them in place by placing a heavy object on top of them. Other options include a cold frame or even a sizable flower pot. For gardeners with enough money and garden area, they can opt for a starter greenhouse to protect their early spring crops.
Early spring is the ideal time for transplanting your crops. The soil is still sufficiently moist to encourage the root system to grow more and get more nutrients. First, get a spade and locate the edges of the main roots of your crops in need of transplanting. Next, begin to dig down until you can completely and carefully dig up the root ball.
As for the new location, you need to dig a hole that’s wider than the original growing area. Likewise, put compost or apply any organic fertilizer in the soil to help the transplanted crop grow. Afterward, the sides should be filled with slightly compacted soil. This will encourage the lateral root expansion of your plants.
Why not welcome the spring season with a window plant box? Just add new and fresh soil with the old one. We recommend growing pansies since they look pretty in containers. They do need to be frequently watered, but they make up for this by being relatively tough. Pansies don’t immediately perish with the onset of cold temperatures. You can even include violas and vinca vines in your window plant box.
Both your plants and the pesky weeds will actively grow during spring. However, you don’t have to worry if you pull up the weeds just before they fully mature. Pull up them when while the root systems are still shallow. Similarly, look for any bare patches if your lawn. If you don’t intend to reseed them yet, you should at least place a thick layer of mulch to deter new weeds from appearing. A four-inch layer of mulch should be enough.
Another way to protect the bare patches from weeds in spring is to use ground cover. For example, you should cover your garden beds with black plastic sheets right before you grow any new plants. Another benefit of using the black sheets is that they will also attract slugs. Just flip the ground cover from time to time and remove all of the pesky slugs hiding there.
Your spring worries aren’t over even when the possibilities of a sudden extreme frost are gone. In fact, the cabbage moth can begin its infestation right after an early spring frost. These moths lay their eggs on the stems of several vegetable seedlings. Once the eggs of cabbage moths hatch on your cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprout seedlings, they will likely perish.
To prevent this horrible outcome, it’s best to be one step ahead of these problematic cabbage moths. All you have to do is safeguard your seedlings with row covers or with an application of barrier paper at their respective stem base.
This might seem counterproductive, but letting the tree stems to sway a bit helps them become tougher in the long run. If you placed stakes around your trees in in fall to keep them in place, you should remove them in spring. Similarly, any wires around them need to be loosened up.
If you have trees that have previously succumbed to leaf spot diseases, it’s best to trim their branches. This should allow more air and sunlight to reach the trees and prevent diseases from developing. For newly planted trees, any tree guards or burlap wraps around them should be removed by spring. Otherwise, these young trees might start to rot and become exposed to plant diseases due to excessive moisture from the burlap wraps.
As your trees begin to actively grow in spring, they need protection from diseases and pests. Apart from pruning, the application of horticultural oil will help them stay healthy. For pear trees, they need the oil once their buds swelling. A second application is necessary to fend off pests such as pear psylla and pear-leaf blister mites.
For apple trees, oil application is best done when 0.5 inches of green tissue begins to appear in the growing beds. Similarly, any of your ornamental trees that have previously been infested with aphids or spider mites need a spring application of horticultural oil. This safe method of pest removal will save you time and effort in the next seasons to come.
In conclusion, there are certainly a lot of tasks and projects to do in your garden in spring. Some activities such as pruning your shrubs and trees are meant to help them transition from winter to spring. Other tasks like topdressing and lime application are for supporting the growth of new plants. No matter their purposes, these projects ensure that your garden will be in perfect shape for spring.
We hope that our guide inspired you to take great care of your garden. Spring is a wonderful time for your garden, but you must be willing to exert time and effort to keep things under control. If you have any questions, feel free to send us a comment.
With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...