When the winter chill begins to subside and a glimmer of sunlight peers through the clouds, it’s time to get prepared for the months where your garden will shine. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to put off the inevitable and wait for summer to clean up the garden. This will be more of a challenge for busy homeowners, though not entirely impossible. It’s recommended to start spring cleanup as early as possible.
Ideally, the earlier you can get your garden ready the better. The first signs of spring signal the best times to start working before the warm weather causes the flowers and plants to grow. The first step is to clean up the area and all the debris Mother Nature so gracefully bestowed upon your property over the winter. Besides aesthetic purposes, a good cleanup will keep your lovely garden free of mold and rot that can wreak havoc on your garden beds.
Those overgrown shrubs will require some TLC. Check your plants for any winter damage and remove any signs of destruction. Broken and bent branches must be cut cleanly which will help them return to normal quicker. For other shrubs, look for growth before pruning and be sure to trim those rose bushes so they are ready to bloom in the warm months. Be careful when pruning azaleas. Though they look dried up from the winter, they are most likely ready to flower. Wait until they flower to prune them.
Dividing is one of those tasks gardeners like to put off. But unfortunately, if you don’t take care of it, the plants will grow too close and the job will get even tougher the longer you wait. Look for plants crowding one another. If you only have a little time, take care of the worst ones as soon as possible and save the others for a later date. It’s even advantageous to rectify the problem the moment you see encroaching even if it is in the fall or winter. Daylilies and irises are among the foliage that often need dividing come early spring. Once you finish dividing, mark the plants so you can get a head start next year.
Edging is an important task for the homeowners who love the manicured, polished look for their landscape. Use an edging tool to clean up the borders and cut down grasses trying to invade your garden space. Thankfully, if you forget to take care of edging in the spring, it can always wait for the summer.
If you can manage to accomplish some of these tasks in the spring, you will be one step ahead of the game. If you are behind schedule, make a list in the summer to prepare you for the fall and spring months of the next year. Whatever you can accomplish in the fall, do it, so you have less tasks to complete next spring. Write down your tasks and try to remember how good it feels when everything is done and your garden looks beautiful. It will give you motivation to get in high gear and tackle the project, same time, same place, next year!