Flowers Spring Gardens = Gardening Tips
Don't you love this time of the year; Spring? Everything is brighter, the
weather is warmer, and flowers unfurl their tender limbs towards
the sun as colour inches its way across gardens landscapes.
If you’ve ever sunk your hand into dirt and felt giddy delight over the beauty of plant life, you know you’re a born gardener destined to spend hours gladly nurturing mother nature’s gifts; flowers, trees, earth and wildlife!
Along with sharing useful Spring clean-up info and gardening tips, I'll share photos of my garden with you.
Spring Garden Clean-up
Garden maintenance is a high priority landscape activity come Spring. This is the time to remove fallen leaves, twigs, and trash that may have collected in your gardens over the winter months, along with pruning back overgrown or dead branches, and pinching and deadheading old blossoms. Spring clean-up helps your garden to look its best for the blooming season
Remember to compost the leaves and branches you collect to enrich your garden soil for next year.
When is the best time to start doing garden clean-up?
Wait for any possibility of frost to completely past. Cleaning up too early could cause your plants to be damaged by the cold. Next, test the soil before beginning to dig and transplant. Wet soil makes it harder and heavier to work with.
Start your Spring garden maintenance when you see new growth at the base of your plants.
New growth on plants, like this sedum, is an indicator that they are ready to have their winter protection removed. Also, the sight of new growth is the perfect time to prune and divide perennial.
Every garden will become overgrown with weeds, if constant attention and maintenance is not bestowed on it. However, there are some simple ways to keep this tiring work to a minimum.
Placing two to three inches of mulch all over your garden beds will not only lesson your watering needs, and help inhibit slugs, but it will also lesson the development of weeds. Fall is the best time to lay down mulch to limit the amount of weed growth in the Spring.
Homemade herbicides and common household products like bleach and dish soap make effective, spot, weed killers. These simple solutions are not recommended for spreading over vast areas at once, because they may accidentally kill valuable plants and insects.
Pulling weeds by hand and a small digging tool is an effective method of getting rid of weeds in lawns and garden beds. However, if you have a large lot, this method is not so practical.
If you choose to hand weed, do so in early Spring when weeds are just beginning to grow, and the ground is soft enough to pop out their shorter roots more easily. Do not leave dug-up weeds lying in your garden bed, on the lawn, nor place in your compost box as weeds can replant themselves.
Garden Tip For a Homemade Weedkiller
Pour one cup vinegar, one cup undiluted dish washing soap, and one cup boiling water into an empty spray bottle. Shake to mix ingredients. Turn spray nozzle to jet spray. Spray weeds individually, taking great care to focus spray only on weeds. In two to three days, weeds will driy out and die. If weeds are really close to plants and flowers, instead of spraying weeds with the homemade weedkiller, remove them by hand as the weedkiller could irreparably damage your plants.
Garden Creatures Large/Small
Worms, bees, lady bugs and many small creatures that you'll find living in your garden are very beneficial to the soil and flowers.
Larger animals like rabbits, badgers, and deers for example, will cause some damage to your garden landscaping and vegetables, but these irritants are usually just a temporary occurrence.
Squirrels on the other hand, are scampering, digging and harvesting in your garden year round .
While I was cleaning up around the garden pond, this little fellow crept up silently nearby and snuck a quick drink. Luckily for me, I always keep my cameras close at hand, so I was able to snap this picture of him before he scampered off up into the tree in fright. Safely in the tree, he looked back at me cockily.
As cute as he was, we gardeners know what havoc squirrels can wreak with our garden, bulbs and landscape.
Finding a sure-fire trick to rid your garden of squirrels is down near
impossible. Plus plastic owls and snakes don't deter them once they realize these items don't move nor make sounds. The best method I've found is provided below.
Garden Tip To Shoo Squirrels Away
I have found that squirrels dislike the smell of lemons and scare easily with noise. So, I
plant lots of lemon scented plants, like lemongrass, in-between my flower bulbs. Finding a way to create noise and movement when the rascals approached to dig up and eat my seeds was a difficult task. My solution is to use small hanging bells that tinkle loudly with the wind or when the squirrels brush up against
them. For the most part, these methods have saved me many a yummy tulip bulb. Some say squirrels hate soap too, so consider spreading soap shavings around your garden bed and bulbs.
Pruning means cutting back shrubs and flowers to invigorate their growth, maintain fullness in their appearance, and constrain them to the desired size for your garden.
Pruning Plants & Shrubs
Every Spring garden maintenance includes pruning. Pruning is usually done in the Fall, so as not to damage new growth in Spring. However, pruning plants in early Spring can be beneficial for those plant and shrubs that grow from new growth and new branches. Many shrubs and trees however, may loose some of their flowers if you cut back the new growth and buds they made last summer to Fall.
If you don't know if your plants are spring or fall bud-ers, consider my rule of thumb; Fall Shrubs, Spring Flowers. This means I prune shrubs to the size I desire in Fall for a beautiful, full-looking shrub come Spring, and I prune my flowering plants in Spring.
Learn How To Divide A Hosta
Dividing & Transplanting
Spring is a great time to divide plants and move them around your garden. As they have just begun to regrow after winter hibernation, they are small enough to handle with without their full cover of leaves and blooms, easier to work with.
Dividing a perrenial is as simple as cutting the plant including its roots into two or more pieces using a sharp knife or square shovel. If perrenials are not divided regularly (every few years), parts of the plant tends to die off and blooms become less frequent and vigorous. Transplanting and dividing perrenial and other plants around your garden means more plants for those bare sections of your garden without having to go out and buy new plants to fill the space.
Garden Tip For Divided Plants
If after dividing plants, you find yourself left with extra plants and no more room in your garden to place them, consider offering these spare flowers to the garden of a home for the aged, a shelter, a school, your neighbors or even planting them in a public garden that's in need of flowers. In this way the beauty and benefits of your plants live on instead of being thrown in the trash.
Lawn Care For Lush Lawns
There's lots of talk during Spring clean-up about how to get the thick, green lawns. In fact everywhere everyone has some trick, some product or some tool to help you grow green laws.
The simple fact is, if you want green grass, water the dickens out of your lawn consistently. Then, if you water your lawn deeply, the grass' roots will grow strong.
Overseed your lawn yearly if it is not thick, and for every burnt or dying patch, reseed, reseed, and reseed. Remember to remove weeds early in the season when their roots are shorter and the ground softer. Cut your lawn to a fairly high height, and leave the grass clipping in the grass after mowing to help to nourish your grass. Finally remember to aerate the grass yearly to improve drainage and avoid moss problems.
Garden Tip For Making A Homemade Soaker Hose.
Every few years, my garden hose develops holes requiring me to throw it out and buy a new one. Well, if you're in to being environmentally friendly, or like me like finding easier and more frugal ways of doing things, then you might like this homemade soaker hose tip.
Take your old garden hose which has developped holes or which is leaking from the ends and lay it flat on your deck, patio or hard surface. Next, take a large nail and hammer, and punch holes completely through the hose every three (3) inches over the majority length of the hose. Next, lay this puntured hoses down the middle of your garden beds (best done in Spring, so that you don't break plants and can see where you're placing the hose).
Make sure that you leave out enough length of the homemade soaker hose to be able to connect your good hose to it. On the other end, attach a broken (leaky) sprayer as a stopper. Now turn on your pipes and watch as your plants get watered. Creating this hose, you'll have done something good for the environment, have more time to do other things, and your homemade soaker hose cost you noting but a little of your time.
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