Spring Cleaning the Garden
A house is not the only thing in need of Spring Cleaning – don’t forget about the Garden! The difference between an enjoyable time working in the yard and a hated “waste” of time is using the correct tool for the job. Always use the proper tools! – and don’t rush – Patience is essential when Gardening (click HERE to view "My Favorite Garden Tools").
Enjoy your time outdoors in God’s wonderful Creation.
Pick up all of the leaves, twigs, pine branches, garbage & other debris that Winter left behind. Clear off areas under fruit trees, berry or flowering bushes (like Lilac or Raspberry bushes and under grape vines). Uncover your asparagus patch, your herb &/or your tulip bed. Clear and rake off any area where you are planning to grow something (or where something is already planted).
Prune your fruit trees and grape vines. I have always trimmed my fruit trees in early spring (usually March but years when we've had extreme winter mid April will suffice). Cut the dead raspberry & blackberry canes from last season and prune any other berry bush (like Goji berry bushes). Prune your rose bushes including rosehip bushes. Cut the old dried asparagus growth down to the ground – do the same with herbs such as sage and lavender. Edge the grass or other wild growth around the perimeter of your garden – clean & crisp edges!
Spread any compost from last year – Compost is free fertilizer! You can make your own compost with table scraps (vegetable & fruit peelings & cores, egg shells, coffee grounds, leaves etc). Separate your tulip bulbs, also - Irises & Lilies of the Valley will need to be separated every two or three years. Remove any “sucker”growth from flowering shrubs & other bushes. Separate your Rhubarb plants and perennial herbs. Remember that this part of Spring cleaning the garden will depend on when these plants have flowered or when they should be split or separated.
Plan where you want each row and what you want to plant there. Use every area possible – I have a large leaf compost pile behind one of my grape arbors & I plant my potatoes there in the compost. After planning, prepare your soil - If you don’t know what you will need to add to your soil then I suggest buying a “soil testing kit”. Also, mound the rows for your sweet potoatoes/potatoes. Plan - I spend all winter planning my garden & I usually order my seeds (besides those seeds that I’ve saved from last year) in February at the latest. Each year you might have to change the time that you begin starting your seeds due to variations in winter season severity (sometimes Spring comes later than what is normal for your area).
Note about Timing! - Spring Cleaning the garden will take more than one weekend worth of work. Depending on which job you are working on - you will need to wait for certain plants to flower before separating bulbs and roots. Be patient – everything has it’s turn under the sun – ENJOY!
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