The signs are unmistakable: The temperature is beginning to rise. Your mood is improving. The birds are singing again. A little bit of green is starting to show in your garden. Spring is here!
Once spring arrives, it’s time to get back out in the garden. Gardening is relaxing and can help lower your blood pressure. Gardening is good exercise and the results will make you smile all season long.
There are a few tasks you might want to tick off your to-do list early in the season. A little preventative maintenance now will save a lot of headaches once it’s too hot out to fix a problem. So take a few afternoons to complete some of these early spring gardening projects.
Spring is a good season to take care of any structural issues in your garden. The weather isn’t hot enough to drive you back inside in the middle of the day. Materials won’t typically be in short supply this early in the season either.
Check the wooden structures in your garden like arbors, fences, gazebos and decks for signs of insect infestation and rot. In the early spring, your perennial plants won’t be in the way and you won’t have to worry about your annuals being trampled.
Clean out the waterways in your landscaping. Clear the gutters and downspouts in the early spring. Remove any debris from your drainage ditches or dry creek beds. Clear out all the winter rubbish and get them ready for spring showers.
Weeding is the least favorite chore of many a gardener but it is vital to the health of your plants. If you get rid of the weeds while they are young and have weaker roots, they are easier to pull out.
Your trees may need to be pruned in the early spring. A word of caution is needed on this topic, however. Many flowering and fruiting trees have already set buds by springtime and should not be pruned. Cutting back can mean losing your harvest or spring bloom.
Spring is a good season for pruning late blooming trees like the crepe myrtle and for cutting back hardwoods and evergreens. Make sure you trim back any branches that are cracked, diseased or broken. Get rid of branches overhanging your roof so pests don’t use them to gain access to your eaves or attic.
Some shrubs like hydrangeas can also be cut back in the spring. You will be able to tell exactly where the winterkill ends and new buds have formed. Allowing these shrubs to bud first tells you exactly where to prune.
Get ahead of pest problems by patrolling your landscape thoroughly before they become active. Look for signs like the tunnels of termites and old hornets nests and take appropriate actions. Apply horticultural oil to shrubs and trees with histories of aphid, scale and spider mite problems.
Take advantage of the beautiful spring weather to get started on your gardening chores. When you see the results, you’ll know it was well worth your time.