Each year, gardeners are just a little more anxious than anyone else for the arrival of spring. They can hardly wait to go out and get their hands in the soil.
Those feelings only intensify as the days gradually get longer and the earliest plants of the year begin to make an appearance.
It's still just a bit early for any true gardening, but that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do.
Check out these eight gardening ideas for early spring to help satisfy your green thumb.
Whether you live in a place with severe winters or not, the cold weather can wreak havoc on gardens. Early spring is a great time to remove boughs and branches that suffered storm damage. If mulch has thinned in some areas, then now's the time to add a little more. Were some of your plants pushed up by frost heave? Early spring is the time for replanting these.
Hopefully, your garden tools were cleaned and properly stored at the end of last year's gardening season. If not, then this is a great opportunity to get them cleaned up and ready to go for this year's season.
Spend some time sharpening your tools as well so that you're ready for the next tip.
Look at trees and shrubs to find any diseased or dead branches that need to be removed. This also is a good time to remove any branches that are spoiling the shape or aesthetics of a certain bush. However, refrain from pruning early bloomers, like azaleas and lilacs, in the early spring.
Early spring is the perfect time for removing the winter mulch that you placed around your perennials in the fall. Be certain to get rid of debris and dead leaves that have accumulated over the winter so that the soil is ready for planting.
Perennials are a garden staple because they come back year after year, bringing gorgeous blooms with them. In the early spring, it may make sense to divide some of your larger specimens. This is a great way to fill in any bare patches or to replace plants that did not survive the winter.
Dividing also is a fantastic technique for ensuring the overall health of the plants. When perennials are allowed to grow without being divided for several years, they can start to look thin and sparse in the center. Dividing helps the entire plant to thrive as it encourages new growth.
Harsh winter temperatures can wreak havoc on hardscaping. Check your edging and paths to see if frost heaves have caused any damage. It also may be sensible to check the condition of your patio or deck to see if any repairs are required. Similarly, it is wise to start taking a look at outdoor furniture. Does it need to be cleaned or repaired? Maybe it's time to replace something? This could be a great time to find an early season bargain.
Depending upon where you live, you can start seeds either indoors or in the garden. Focus on seeds that grow slow and early like carrots, leeks, lettuce and peas. These are not only fun to grow, but also enormously satisfying as you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor come harvest time.
If it has been about three to five years since you last tested your garden soil, then it's time to do it again. This is a great way to discover what kind of organic materials or nutrients your soil needs. Accordingly, you can amend your soil to create ideal growing conditions for the plants you plan to cultivate.
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