Spring is, in my opinion, the most wonderful time of year for the gardener. You can shake of that winter weariness and get ready for a new gardening season.
The most difficult part of spring gardening is trying to manage your impatience. Don’t start digging around too early. The soil must be dry enough to have it fall apart when you pick it up. When it still sticks together like glue, it’s definitely still too early.
Early spring is the best time of year to change (parts of) your garden design. You can transplant existing shrubs and perennial plants before they begin to leaf out. This also is the time to prune your trees and shrubs. Cut back the remaining dead foliage from last season and remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches of trees and shrubs.
And then flowers! That’s really what spring is about, isn’t it! There are many that are suitable for cool spring weather. Think of sweet alyssum, some snapdragons, stock and sweat peas. You can also start some perennials like hostas and daylilies.
Start some violets, marigolds, carnations, geraniums, and impatiens inside to transplant to your flower beds in early spring. Or, if you have some space left in your garden, you can set up a “cold frame.” Ready-made cold frames are available in different sizes. A cold frame captures the spring sunlight and warms the soil it surrounds. It is ideal to “harden off” houseplants and transplants for your summer garden. You can use the cold frame for direct seeding, as well.
If you have unplanted areas in your garden, a great spring project is to lay out landscape cloth on that unplanted area. Landscape cloth is an excellent weed barrier. It comes in different weights, heights, and fabric choices. This cloth can then also serve as a great map to precisely plant your transplants.
Weeds start to grow very early, but still have shallow roots in spring, so get them out when you spot them. Getting on top of the weeds now means a lot less work in summer, and I’m sure that digging out weeds in the burning sun in not your favorite pastime.
These two measures will definitely intimidate your perennial weeds to the extent that they will prefer your neighbor’s garden over yours.
Most of all, enjoy your spring garden as you watch it grow and blossom into summer!