Get your garden ready for spring with Wing Haven’s helpful top ten checklist
1. Survey the YardMake note of tree limbs that should be removed or cabled, especially those that overhang structures. Hire an arborist to maintain large trees. Cut down last year's perennial foliage, and toss it into the compost pile. Rake mulch from beds planted with bulbs before foliage appears, and refresh mulch in other planting areas after soil warms. Check fences, steps, and pathways for disrepair caused by freezing and thawing.
2. Order Tools and PlantsClean and sharpen your tools so everything is ready when things start growing. Make note of what is missing, and purchase tools for the new growing season. Choose new plants for the garden; order perennials, trees, and shrubs for spring planting.
3. Get Ready to MowSend the mower and leaf blower for servicing, or if you have the right tools, sharpen the mower blades yourself. Change the oil in your mower with oil, install fresh spark plugs, and lubricate moving parts if necessary. Clear the lawn of winter debris, and look for areas that need reseeding before mowing. Also, run through your irrigation system and inspect for potential winter damage.
4. Prune Trees and ShrubsRemove dead, damaged, and diseased branches from woody plants. Thin and trim summer blooming shrubs such as butterfly bush, hydrangea, and most roses (except for old fashioned once bloomers). Prune cold damaged wood after plants resume spring growth. Prune spring blooming shrubs and trees after flowering.
5. Take a Soil TestCheck soil pH with a home soil test kit or send it off for more detailed analysis. Be sure to take 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.
6. Prepare New BedsClear the planting area as soon as soil can be worked, removing turf, weeds, and debris. Spread a 4 inch layer of compost or well rotted
manure and any amendments over soil, and cultivate it to a depth of 10 to 12 inches with a spading
7. PlantInstall bare root trees, shrubs, and perennials such as hostas and day lilies by early spring. Choose a cool, cloudy day if possible. Plant containergrown
items anytime during the growing season except midsummer; be sure to water them thoroughly and frequently! Sow seeds of cool season flowers like sweet peas, poppies, and calendula, and vegetables such as lettuce, parsley, and spinach.