Spring Gardening Made Easy
Spring Ahead with Easy Gardening
From the moment robins begin to appear, avid gardeners are chomping at the bit to get into their gardens. There are signs soil is workable, even in the very earliest part of spring.
Look for a day when the first thaw appears as a sign of the start of gardening season. By the time clocks spring ahead to Daylight Saving Time, indoor seedlings have grown sufficiently to withstand a mild dip in early spring temperatures.
The trick to spring gardening made easy is to plan the garden at the end of the last gardening season. This is when flowering bulbs are dug up to protect them from the first frost. It's also the best time to collect seeds from flower pods from daisies and sunflowers left on dried stems.
Spring Gardening Begins with Soil Preparation
It's important to check the best time to safely plant perennial plants. For example, Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra Spectabilis) are perennials best left to mid-spring planting, after all possibility of frost ends. Ground covers like Irish Moss and English Ivy tend to be hardy perennial plants, as well as creeping red sedum. However, the most important part of spring gardening begins with soil preparation. Review instructions for gardening in the specified growing zone. Growing zones affect proper preparation of garden soil. In colder growing zones, a long winter of snow and ice can quickly deplete soil nutrients. In warmer growing zones, too much rain or sun also has negative effects on soil. Know the type of soil in the garden and actual levels of acids, salts and soil pH. Consider purchasing a soil analyzer to test for soil pH and fertilizer components from an online nursery. There are relatively inexpensive and help determine soil balance.
Turn Soil and Plant a Garden
If soil is depleted, add lime and mild fertilizer like 5-10-5 or higher, as needed. Turn the soil at the beginning and end of the spring planting season. When the ground is workable in spring, perennial plants, vines and ground covers can be planted for full season enjoyment. Bear in mind, some perennials do not always bloom the first season after planting. For example, flowering Sweet William may produce green foliage the first season; but, will not usually produce a profusion of flowers until the second season. Check with an online nursery for details on planting vines like Clematis and ground covers like Creeping Wintergreen.
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