Spring garden clean up – start early!

Spring is definitely the crazy time in the garden. Once the warmer weather is on us, plants start to grow fast, weeds can be hard to keep up with and the feeling of being overwhelmed can quickly develop, and the season has barely started! The key to spring survival is to start early! Completing a thorough clean up in your gardens in April can help reduce the stress of dealing with a jungle later in May.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Lawn first – rake up dead grass and mess from the snow blower. Clean up branches and twigs that have fallen in the winter. Maybe keep a small pile to use for plant supports in your gardens later on.

Perennial gardens next – usually by mid to end of April, gardens will have dried up enough for you to work in them. Don’t work in them if they are still too wet as you will compact the soil.

If you complete the following 4 steps in your gardens now, you will be off to a great start!

1. Cut down: Cut down dead perennial stems to the new growth. Pull out dead annuals left from last year.

2. Weed: Complete a thorough weeding – any weeds that have survived the winter will be perennial ones, meaning they will grow fast and haunt you all year. Take a spade and dig them out now!

3. Edge: Re edge your beds using a sharp spade or edger tool. This will create a new, crisp edge and redefine any areas that may have lost their shape against the forever intruding lawn.

4. Mulch: Spread mulch now before the plants grow too much. This will help reduce weed growth later, keep moisture in the soil and look great. Use a naturally coloured cedar bark mulch for the best look.

Finally veggie garden – If you are using a rototiller, do not go onto the ground until it is thoroughly dried out, usually in May. If you are digging by hand you can work earlier. Work in compost and manure.