How to get your garden ready

Now that everyone has packed away their winter gear and the green grass is starting to show, it’s time to start thinking about your garden. It may seem like a gruelling task after such a long winter, but breaking it down into smaller jobs can make it seem much more manageable. Here is our process for starting your garden season:

Survey your yard:

  • Check your trees for branches that need to be removed or cabled. If need be, hire an arborist to come and help with the larger ones.
  • Clean up perennial foliage and compost whatever you remove.
  • Rake the mulch from your flower beds that have bulbs planted.
  • Check your fences, deck and other structures to make sure everything looks ready for the warm weather.

Tend to your tools, especially if you didn’t store them properly over the winter:

  • Give the pruners a sharpening – it will make the job go by much faster and safer.
  • All wooden handles will probably need a cleaning and a sanding.
  • If you’re missing anything, take a trip to your nearest hardware store or order it online.

Fill your garden:

  • Choose new plants to fill the gaps that make your garden look bare.
  • Order perennials, trees and shrubs to plant once the soil is warmer.
  • A quick tip: most nurseries are happy to special order plants they don’t normally have in stock if you’re looking for something specific that you just can’t seem to find.

Refresh your lawn:

  • Get your mower, leaf blower and weed-whacker serviced if needed. You can sharpen your mower blades yourself if you have the proper tools. Refill the oil, install fresh spark plugs and lubricate moving parts for optimal performance.
  • Before you mow your grass, clear the lawn of any winter debris and reseed any bare patches.

If you need to add more beds, dig the soil to add oxygen and loosen it up. Add in some compost to get it ready for your plants. Now that your flower beds are ready, start planting! Trees, roses, hostas and daylilies are best planted from the bare root. When planting container-grown plants, keep in mind that you can plant at any time during the growing season, but try to avoid doing it on hot afternoons.

Now that your garden is planted, it’s time to give it a little fuel; fertilize it with a balanced compound. Take all plant debris and start a compost bin to stay on top of garden care for the entire growing season. If you have bird feeders and a bird bath, clean them to attract new friends to your backyard and pollinate your newly planted beds.

Take gardening step-by-step this season to enjoy the process and not get overwhelmed by the ongoing list of tasks. Soon, your garden will look like the cover of a magazine; be the envy of all your neighbours this summer!

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