According to the calendar, spring is here and this means it’s gardening season. There is something so appealing about a vibrant and colorful bed of flowers or the overflowing bounty of a vegetable garden. As a gardener, it’s a great way to see and enjoy the fruits of your hard and passionate work.
As avid gardeners, we’re keen to spread the word about the benefits and beauty of gardening. Not only is it a relaxing and refreshing way to spend time outside in the fresh air, it’s also excellent exercise. Yes, exercise – all the bending, lifting, and carrying is practically a strength work-out. Because of this, we want you to think carefully about how you bend and lift heavy items – remember to protect your joints and take a break when needed.
Now, we know that depending on where you live you might be dealing with less-than favorable gardening conditions. The good news is that even if you’re still digging out from snow or dealing with very soggy soil, there is lots you can do to get ready for the gardening season. In this article we’ve put together some ways you can get ready for the planting season and how to spring clean your garden for the summer and fall growing season.
As always, if you have gardening tips that you know others in our SierraSil Facebook Community would enjoy, do share them on Facebook.
How To Be Ready For Gardening Season
Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who lives in a year-round gardening-friendly climate – if so, we’re jealous. For the rest of us, the spring is an ideal chance to get ready for the gardening season. We’ve put together our top suggestions that can help you get ready for the upcoming gardening season.
- Clean and tidy. During the winter, your gardening beds are exposed to harsh weather, causing damage and mess. Clean up any broken branches, leaves, and other messes that are cluttering your lawn and gardening beds. The sooner you do these gardening tasks, the easier it is for your spring bulbs to grow and for you to get your garden ready for planting. But do remember that you can’t rush this process – be aware of the weather and any upcoming frost warnings.
- Give your gardening tools some TLC. Your gardening tools have been sitting all winter, and could likely do with a bit of a refresh. Clean your tools, sharpen any dull edges, and treat yourself to some new gardening gloves and knee pads.
- Prep your soil. You know that the quality of your garden has a lot to do with your soil. Get down and dirty and dig into your soil – turn the soil over and remove any weeds or stray grass and then add fresh soil and compost. This last step adds much needed nourishment, but be careful to add the compost a couple of weeks before planting so the compost doesn’t hurt your plants.
- Plan it out. Just like everything, a plan is essential to success. Think about the shade, your local weather patterns, and what you want from your garden. Know which plants make sense for your zone and talk to the experts at your local nursery about the best plants for you. Think about how much time you have for maintenance and consider this when planning your garden. Think about how your garden will grow – use a mix of different heights of plants and how these plants grow (up, down, or both).
- Treat yourself to new gardening gear. Ultimately, you need to enjoy gardening, so make sure you’ve got the right tools and equipment to enable this. If you’ve got lower back problems, sore knees, or other joint discomfort – consider investing in a lightweight wheel barrow, ergonomic gardening tools, knee pads, and other equipment that can ease joint stress and mobility discomfort.
What did we miss? Tell us on the SierraSil Facebook page – chances are high others will chime in with their gardening tips.
How To Spring Clean Your Garden
Hopefully the warm weather is right around the corner and you can really get into giving your garden a spring clean to get it ready for planting season. If you’re in doubt about if you can start really working in your garden, consult the folks at your local nursery and follow their expert advice.
- Clean up your flower beds. Take the time to remove and compost any of your dead annuals that you didn’t remove before the winter deep-freeze. Prune and trim your perennials, keeping in mind your garden plan and what you want to plant and grow this season.
- Trim shrubs and woody plants. Put on a good pair of gardening gloves and using your best shears, trim back your woody plants and shrubs. Look for broken or dead branches – remember you need to make room for new growth.
- Cut your ornamental grass. As soon as you can, trim back your ornamental grass. Unlike shrubs and woody plants, you don’t need to wait for new growth to trim your ornamental grass. As well, remember to trim this grass to just a few inches from the ground – this enables better growth.
- Dig up those weeds. Be pro-active and take action against any pesky weeds that survived the winter. Dig up these weeds when the soil is damp. Whatever you do, don’t compost your weeds – or they’ll make a very unwelcome return to your garden. At the same time you’re weeding, dig up any plants you no longer want and if possible consider giving these to a friend who is new to gardening or to a young eager gardener.
- Stake it out. No one really enjoys staking, but it is key in supporting your plants. Better to do it now rather than when your garden is in full bloom. Remember to pay attention to how you bend and how much staking you do in one session – think joint health first!
Are you excited for planting and growing season? We sure are. There really is nothing better than sitting back on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy the colors, smells, and vibrancy that comes with a beautiful garden.