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Preparing Your Garden for Spring

Springtime always brings a sense of hope and new beginnings—maybe this year even more than in the past with a return to our pre-pandemic world just now on the horizon. What better way to mark this milestone than to grab our gardening tools and just dig in?

Then you need to do a little spring cleaning on your garden plot. Rake out the weeds and get rid of them so they don’t come back in this season’s garden! If you have a compost pile,  you can put them in the middle where the heat will kill any remaining seeds before they can germinate. Clear out any other debris so you have a clean canvas to work with.

Chances are, the winter snows have compacted the earth, so use a tiller or spade to turn the soil to about a foot. Now is a good time to work on some amendments to the soil such as compost or manure. A soil test will tell you about the pH and nutrient levels so you can add just what is needed. If you’ve already started seeds indoors, they may be ready to go into the garden. Ideally, you should wait until the daytime temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for at least seven consecutive days before you plant in the ground.

Divide fast-spreading perennials like day lilies, Shasta daisies and hostas so they have room to grow. Replant them immediately elsewhere on your property or share your bounty with friends! Simply dig out around the perimeter of the clump and under the plant root ball. Lift it out of the ground, disentangling the roots by hand and pull apart the distinct root stocks/tubers. In some cases, you will need to cut the clump apart with a knife. Water the transplants well and mulch to retain moisture and discourage weeds.

Happy gardening! Stay tuned for Part 2!