Spring Garden Tips You Should Know
“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, to hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour…” - William Blake
This quote rings true in the sense of the limitless forms in which creativity manifests. Not all artists are painters or sculptors, necessarily. Some are gardeners. Their gardens are their easels and the many flowers are the colorful constituents that create their master pieces. Any artist, irrespective of his interest, knows that creativity is best expressed in forms of technique and structure. These spring garden tips aim to provide you the channels of these forms, through which your rivers of inspiration may flow. Let's take the first steps towards creating a gardeners dream...
A bad worker blames his tools (and one should if they’re no good!)
You’re probably overwhelmed at the amount of work you have to do. It’ll certainly put your mind at ease if you are stocked up with the right tools, ready for the job. Note down what garden work you intend to do (trimming, raking, sawing, hoeing etc.) and then write down which tools are needed for the job.
Fine-tuning is another necessity. Your great aunt’s rake from the 1920’s might serve better in a museum than in your garden. If you’re hesitant to part with your trusty tools, make sure at least that they are sharpened and in working order. Maybe the tools were not stored properly, so give them the attention they need. Ensure they’re in good shape and ready for work when called upon.
For power tools: check oil, spark plugs, rust and if lubrication is needed. Don’t forget small details, such as worn down or splintered handles. A little sanding and linseed oil application could save your hands from painful blisters.
Big things first
Winter has passed and will have surely left marks of its presence. Before you commence cleaning up the yard, it would be wise to tend to the trees first. Consider whether or not there may be any branches that need removing, dead leaves that need to be pulled down or limbs that may impede structures within your yard.
Depending on the risk and your skill level you may want to do this yourself or hire an arborist. Doing this first will reduce the amount of work to be done. There’s nothing more annoying than having raked the entirety of your garden only to have a gust of wind haul a bunch of leaves on your newly exposed lawn! Walls, garden boundaries or any man-made objects that have suffered damage over the winter should also be repaired.
Medium things second
Look to shrubs, hedges and plants for any excessive growth or dead foliage. Before you begin pruning and cutting, you might be interested in starting your own compost heap. For one, it’ll save you some cash that you’d have spent of nutritious soil for your flower younglings.
Secondly, it eradicates the nuisance of having to figure out a means of dumping al the garden debris you will have acquired once your work is done. Allocate an area in your garden that you barely use, or that is concealed and pile your trimmings there. Whether you intend to use this area as a compost heap or dumping area, it’ll make collection much easier.
Little things last
Once old foliage has been removed and plants are neatly manicured, you can begin clearing garden beds of mulch. Weeding and raking is also necessary at this stage. Tending to your lawn is the last step of this stage. Once all leaves have been raked, you’ll be able to identify areas that are bare and require reseeding. Plant grass seeds before you start mowing.
A good architect will thoroughly survey the landscape on which he intends to build, to ensure that the building will endure. A good gardener must do the same. Step into the shoes of a Zen master and be one with your garden (that doesn’t mean meditating over the beauty of your plants). Spend time regarding the spots in your garden that naturally receive more sun and those that are shadier.
It would be logical then to plant plants that require a lot of sun in sunny spots and vice versa. Drainage is another important factor that needs to be taken into account. It’s unlikely that your yard is symmetrically flat and that water reaches all areas equally. Often where plants are wilting, excessive water is the problem. Too much water leads to root-rot and potentially the deaths of much beloved flora.
Where there are natural dips in the landscape, consider laying an array of rocks at the foundation and then placing soil on top to level it out. The rocks will aid in draining the water without compromising the level of the land. You should also identify areas in your garden that seem to be barren of natural growth. Check the soil quality of these areas. Excessive rocks or hard, clay-like sand makes it difficult for plants to stabilize their roots and absorb essential nutrients for growth.
Test your garden soil, ensure it has the nutrients needed, and not too much of one thing like acidity. Feed your soil with an inch or two of compost, manure or humus in early spring. Do this before bulbs start to emerge as the plants utilize organic or inorganic material.
After the harsh winter storms fade and spring comes around, waking up your garden for the new growing season becomes a priority. It can seem like a daunting task with so much to get done. However, if you plan and follow the actionable tips laid out in this article, the task will feel easier with each step.