Three Simple Steps to a Perfect Spring Garden

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After the drag of the long winter months, many have found themselves antsy to get back into the garden. With spring right around the corner, it is the perfect time to start working outside! In fact, prepping your backyard now will lead to a far happier garden in the future. While we have not quite entered the promising warmer weather spring provides, there is work to be done on existing plants, not to mention the variety of flowers and vegetables that can be planted now. In three steps, watch your space transform into a neatly kept area ready for spring!

 

Step One: Clean up!

It’s essential to start with an overall refresh for your garden. To do this, start with the shed. Be sure to clean out and take inventory of all the supplies as well as the supplies needed. An organized shed is a must; it is essential to a successful garden. Behind every luscious backyard, utopia is the set of gardening tools that got it there. Make sure what you’re working with is clean and in good shape. The tools must be sharp and clean to ensure gardening success.

Once your tools are safe, sound, and accounted for, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. I find it very important to power through this step and highly recommended dragging a couple of friends to help. After your beds have set in the dead of winter for many long and cold days, a sprucing up is desperately needed. Clean out any old, empty beds you plan on using; you may also find it helpful to brainstorm areas for plants with particular sun and shade requirements. In Oregon, the quickest way to a dead garden is one hot summer’s day. Be mindful when scoping out the area; it wouldn’t be nice to expose your shade-loving plants to the coming spring sun. 

With rakes, clear all garden beds housing established plants of old mulch, leaves, and other debris. Keep going until all that is left around your plants is soil. Once your garden is clear of last season’s remains, take care of some of your plants that may need pruning. Some common plants that need to be pruned include butterfly bush, flowering dogwood, honeysuckle, redbud, and crepe myrtle. When pruning, be sure your tool is sharp and clean. Using a dirty tool puts your plants at risk of infection. Step back and admire your hard work! Now it’s time for some important preparations. 

 

Step Two: Set Up!

Last year’s soil is of no use to your new, budding garden. After Winter, the dirt has been left depleted and hardened by the elements. Planting in used dirt is destined for disaster! If your But don’t worry, in the empty areas of your garden,  simply till your garden’s soil a couple of inches down into the ground. This allows existing leaves and mulch to breakdown into the soil, releasing extra nutrients. Once it’s all broken up, give it some new potting soil and rich compost. Doing this will ensure that the earth is rich with nutrients to provide for your garden. Now that the soil is prepared to home your many incoming plants, the next step is to start composting. 

Composting is essential to a healthy garden. A cheap and easy way to make your own involves just two things: a bin and food waste. But when I say food waste, don’t go throwing last night’s lasagna in there. Organic items like fruit and veggie scraps, eggshells, and grass clipping would be much appreciated. Next, take all your planning from step one and put it into action. Those with more established gardens might scoff at this step. However, it may be needed to build new garden beds or invest in some more planters, pots, and trays. If you find that your soil is difficult to work with, you might benefit from store-bought potting soil and raised beds. For smaller plants, simple pots offer a mobile option that can easily spruce up any area of your outdoor space.

 

Step Three: Plants!

Finally! You’ve made it to the best part; congratulations! Start by digging up any of your perennials from the previous year. Leaving them crowded can cause the flowers to deteriorate over time. It’s important to separate them, being sure to untangle the roots, before planting them in a way that allows for more room. This will not only be beneficial to the health of your garden but, it’s an easy way to propagate your flowers to grow more and more. 

Many plants bloom in the spring. Once your old bulbs are taken care of and planted, you can grow more! Spring bulbs and perennials, like lilies, gladiolus, and daffodils, all thrive during these coming warmer months. Sporting bright and vibrant colors, these plants will add life to your backyard. Flowers not your thing? Don’t worry. Springtime also offers the opportunity for many vegetables. A wide variety of greens such as spinach, kale, lettuce, and arugula all will flourish. Also, celery, peas and carrots, to name a few more. With these new plants in your garden beds, your backyard will be in full bloom for spring. Set up now for a field of flowers and baskets full of produce soon!

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