As we enter the fourth month of the year, what better way could there be to celebrate this fertile and exciting time of year than to work on improving your garden? Gardening is a relaxing and fulfilling activity that the whole family can enjoy together. Plus, a rich and colorful garden can greatly add to the aesthetic beauty of your home. I’ve compiled some tips that you should keep in mind when attending to your yard this spring.
Don’t over water!– Horticulturist, Mitch Hoyles of Western Garden Nursery says the biggest danger at this time of year is over watering. “Now is the time when we have to start watering, and most people water way too much,” Hoyles said. Roots need air in order to grow. Clay soil must be allowed to dry between watering, so the water can be replaced by air to nourish the roots.
Watch your step – Make sure you don’t walk on delicate flowerbeds when they are saturated. Wait until the soil dries. If you compact the soil by stepping on it when it is wet, you run the risk of damaging new growth.
Spring-cleaning, for your yard – Pick up old leaves, broken branches, and debris accumulated during winter. Cut back any perennials that you have. Trim shrubs, and any other excess growth.
Tune up your tools – Sharpen mowers and clippers so everything is ready when things start to grow. Make a note of what’s missing and order tools for the new season of growth.
Check on your soil – Check soil pH with a Home Soil Test Kit, taking several samples from different planting areas for an accurate reading. Enrich soil as necessary. Add dolomitic lime to raise the pH, or elemental sulfur to lower the pH.
Don’t forget to fertilize – Apply balanced fertilizer (6-6-6 or 8-8-8), fish emulsion, or other soil enhancements suggested by soil-test results around trees and shrubs when new growth appears. Spread high-acid fertilizer and pine-needle mulch around acid-loving shrubs like azaleas and camellias. Begin fertilizing perennials when active growth resumes.
With a bit of luck and hard work your garden will be the envy of the neighborhood. By the time summer rolls around, you’ll be able to relax in your garden in comfort and style as you sip your favorite beverage and enjoy the beautiful environment you have created for you and your family.