Indulge your green thumb AND create a gorgeous spring garden with these easy-to-follow tips.
1. Organize Your Shed (or Outdoor Storage Space)
A great gardener is only as good as their tools. Start by cleaning and sharpening tools like shears and hedge clippers. Now is also a good time to inspect and gas up your lawn mower and refill any supplies you’ll need for the season ahead, such as fertilizer, seed and soil. If you’re an ultra-beginner, basic gardening supplies should include the following:
- Pruning Shears
- Hedge Clippers
- Hand Trowel
- Garden Fork
- Garden Hose
2. Remove Weeds, Old Mulch and Other Debris
Give your garden a fresh start by removing unsightly weeds (including dead ones), old mulch, twigs, leaves and other forms of debris that may affect plant growth. Keep in mind, organic materials may be composted for future use, but for now, bare soil is best.
3. Prune Unruly Plants
Early spring is the best time to trim old wood on trees and shrubs so you can shape branches before fresh blooms develop. As you’re less like to hurt new growth, we recommend doing this before the warmer temperatures arrive. After pruning, we also recommend adding a little fertilizer to help combat the stress your plants undergo during the process. Don’t forget your gloves!
4. Ready Your Soil
Once the ground is soft and frost-free (typically around mid-May in Edmonton), you’ll want to turn the soil. In Alberta, soil can become compacted due to heavy snowfall during the winter. For larger beds especially, you may need to break things up with a shovel or hoe before using your spade or garden fork.
Pro Tip: After tilling, many gardeners put down a layer of weed cloth before planting to cut down on summer maintenance.
5. Consider Fragrance
Make your spring garden a treat for the senses by incorporating fragrance-friendly blooms. You can really capitalize on their scent by placing them in frequently used areas such as walkways, decks, patios and terraces.
Pro Tip: Place fragrant flowers near your windows and invite a gentle, pleasant aroma into your home.
Some of the best-known fragrant blooms include:
- Orange Blossoms
6. Divide Your Perennials
Perennials tend to choke each other out over time. For this reason, many gardeners divide their perennials to a) add more plants to their garden without purchasing new ones and b) keep the existing plant(s) healthy. Be sure to do this carefully so as not to damage the roots.
7. Add Fresh Mulch to Your Garden Beds
Mulch is more than an attractive addition to your garden beds. It also provides essential nutrients to your soil. Depending on the type you choose, mulch may also be comprised organic and non-organic materials such as bark, wood chips and even recycled tires. The result is a surplus of vitamins delivered directly to your dirt. Other benefits include weed and pest control (including insects and animals), moisture control and defence against erosion.
8. Check Your Hardscaping
Plants aren’t the only key to a gorgeous garden. Your hardscaping also plays a significant role in taking your outdoor space from “ok” to outstanding. Check your existing stonework (retaining walls, sidewalk, stepping stones and edging) for signs of breakage and/or frost heaves. You may also want to assess your patio, deck, and fence for any signs of disrepair, such as rotting boards, chipping paint, or structural issues.
9. Balance Scale and Size
Add interest to your garden by choosing varying plant textures and sizes. For example, smaller plants or flowers with smaller blooms are better for places where they can be seen close up, like pathways or seating areas. Larger, more dramatic plants are perfect for those far-away areas, such as fence lines, distant corners and spaces furthest removed from your home or sitting area.
10. Go Vertical
Vertical gardening adds interest to any outdoor space. These may include additions such as living walls, vertical planters (on the fence, home, shed, etc.) and crawling vines. Hanging planters, pergolas, and arbours are also ideal for adding vertical interest.
11. Dress Things Up with Planters
Coming in a wide array of sizes, colours and textures, outdoor planters can be a great way to add more personality to your outdoor space. Planters are also perfect for creating designated outdoor “zones” as you can use them to separate and/or border specific areas. Planters are also ideal for keeping weeds to a minimum while saving water and time.
12. Create a Dedicated Enjoyment Space
Why take the trouble to create a beautiful outdoor garden if you can’t enjoy it? Don’t forget to take the time to develop a designated outdoor space where you can take in the spoils of your labour. The key is to take existing boundaries (your home, fence, garage, etc.) to create an established seating area. Then, you can use planters, shrubs, stonework, trellises etc., to highlight that space.
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Photo credits: shutterstock.comPosted by Terry Paranych on