Sitting back on your lawn and watching your Spring garden shine with a natural and beautiful array of plant life can be a relaxing and stress-relieving process. There is a certain skill behind creating and caring for the perfect Spring garden that requires patience, love, and attention to detail. That hard work is what makes the finished product so rewarding and fulfilling. Whether you are planting your first garden or you are a gardening veteran, getting your garden off to a solid start is one of the most important things you can do to ensure successful Spring planting.
Help ensure your garden’s success by heeding these dos and don’ts from HGTV.
- Work the Soil When It’s Dry: Work the soil only when it’s moderately dry. Tilling, walking on, or cultivating the soil when it’s wet leads to creating something akin to adobe: the whole structure of the soil is destroyed.
- Provide Drainage: If your soil is too wet to work, use raised beds to enable earlier planting in the spring. The soil in raised beds dries out and warms up faster than the surrounding earth.
- Check Your Seed Packet: Plant cool-season plants such as peas, onions, Swiss chard, spinach and lettuce in early spring so they mature before hot weather arrives. Delay planting warm-weather crops until you’re safely past the last spring frost and the soil has warmed sufficiently.
- Know Your Zone: Whether you use USDA or Sunset zones, choose your plants not only for cold-hardiness but for heat-tolerance as well. For example, peonies don’t bloom where winters are mild.
- Ease in Transplants: If you’ve started seedlings indoors, expose them gradually to the conditions they’ll have in the garden: start the pots off for only a few hours in a sunny place, then gradually increase the amount of sun exposure before installing the transplants in the garden.
- Rely on Mother Nature: The best amendment for your soil is one you can make yourself: compost. If you don’t already have a compost pile, you can always start one now.
- Water Deeply: Your veggie garden will need about an inch of water a week; if enough rain hasn’t fallen, water till the top 6 inches of soil are wet. Simply wetting the soil’s surface with daily watering doesn’t reach most of the root zone and is harmful to plants. Saturate the soil around the base of tomato plants and avoid getting the foliage wet to reduce the chances of foliar diseases.
- Rotate Your Crops: Grow them in different spots every year. Tomatoes are especially vulnerable to diseases that may linger in the soil or in plant residue.
- Synchronize Pruning Chores to Bloom Time: Prune summer-blooming shrubs, such as abelia and butterfly bush, in early spring. Buds form on the new wood that emerges the same year. Later, cutting spent flowers on your butterfly bush will produce new flowers.
- The Exception to the Rule: Hydrangeas are the exception to the pruning rules for summer-flowering shrubs. Mophead hydrangeas — and others that flower in summer — need to be pruned in fall. Fall-blooming hydrangeas such as Hydrangea paniculata are pruned in late winter or early spring.
Spring is one of the best times of the year for yard work, especially considering how beautiful Georgia is in the Spring. If you would like a beautiful Spring landscape, but would rather leave the work to the professionals, we would be happy to help! Here at Mansell Landscape Management we offer ongoing landscape maintenance as well as seasonal color programs. If you have any questions about landscape management, contact us today.