Spring Sprucing: A Simple Guide to Yard Prep
Posted: Apr 30 2013
The word that often quickly follows "Spring" is indeed an ugly one. So instead of saying "Spring cleaning," an image that makes us think of housework and of cleaning places or items that will seemingly be dirty again as soon as we turn around, let's use the word "sprucing" to apply to the delightful feeling that is prepping one's yard in anticipation for the year's growth and beauty.
Unsure of where to begin in turning your yard that's dingy and drab into a yard that's bright and fab? Follow these three simple steps:
Tidy Up: Walk around your garden with a pair of sharp shears. Any dry, grey stalks of last year's perennials must be cut down to the ground to make way for new growth that will appear shortly from the crown of the roots. Gently rake up any leaf cover that you may have put over your perennial beds for insulation. Expose as much soil as you can so it can soak up the sun's warmth and set your growing season in motion as soon as possible! Put the leaves into your compost pile where they'll turn into rich, dark compost that can be applied to the garden in the fall or next Spring. Also take the opportunity to prune any unruly growth from your vines and shrubs. If you have specific questions about how to prune and trim your particular shrub, for example, remember that this information is only a click away!
Freshen Up: A garden refresher consisting of compost in the spring will ensure more blossoms and healthier plants come summertime. Its nutrients are released slowly and throughout the season ensuring a steady supply of food for your plants all season long. Topdress your beds with a thin layer of compost, spreading it carefully with a pronged trowel and making sure not to cover crown heads of perennials.
Finish Up: You're already prepared to give your backyard its final touches. Nothing impresses more than a sharp, clean edge between your flower borders and the lawn. Using an edger--a half-moon shaped, long-handled tool--dig a shallow trough a few inches wide along the length of the garden. This can be very satisfying work in a small garden, but back breaking work in a larger one were you might prefer to install permanent edging. Nurseries carry a wide selection of edging, from rolls of sturdy black vinyl to attractive stone, brick, and timber.
Now you can wash your patio furniture, sit back with your tall glass of pleasure, and enjoy seeing your garden come to life--because it's ready to!