Spring Garden & Landscape Tips

 by Sue Baxter
    We have compiled a list of outdoor tips to get started on in the Spring, when the weather is not too hot for work and the sun is nice and bright. Some of these can be done early (Jan – Feb), and some can be done later on before summer hits (April – May), but it’s nice to have a good idea of what needs to be done.
   (For those of you who don’t have the time, energy or expertise to care for your lawn, consider hiring a professional lawn care service.


WEEDS-

     Believe it or not it’s already time to get the weeds while they are small! Cool-season weeds like chickweed will carpet the ground in spring; now they are just little baby plants and easily removed with a hoe.
     This is a good time to get down on your knees and remove as many weeds as possible before they have the opportunity to flower and then seed. Get rid of a small number of weeds NOW to prevent a much larger number of weeds later! Need an incentive?
    Consider this: some weeds can produce as many as 10,000 seeds each. Remember, too, that weeding is much easier if you do it when in the Spring when the soil is wet. Remember to look in the flower beds and garden areas too.
PRUNING –
     Contrary to popular belief, Early Spring is the best time for pruning. Even as early at February and march. Prune back bushes -it’s a good time for crabapples, many shade trees, and mid to late summer blooming shrubs. March is not the time for pruning maples, elm, birch, and early spring blooming shrubs, however. Cut back any flower stems left over from last year, sedum plants and tall grasses are notorious, it’s also time to cut back the roses.
SPRING CLEANING –
    Take a walk around your landscape and examine trees and shrubs for any limbs or branches that have been broken or damaged over the winter. Trim branches without collars very close to the trunk. Trim branches with collars or other natural projections at the collar edge.
     Pick up sticks in the yard and Rake unsightly leaves. If it’s 50 Degrees or more, it’s the BEST time to start getting out the vegetation killer for sidewalks and patios. Get these unwanted plants before they get started. Look over stepping stones to see if they need repaired, moved or replaced.
HARDWARE AND UTENSILS –
    Take inventory of your stock of fertilizer, potting soil, weed killer, seed library, etc., so you can plan out your next stop at the store. Get all your pots together and take inventory. Also, clean them! Your spring will look fresher with freshly-scrubbed pots gracing your lawn! Clean all your tools, hoses and accessories and make sure they are in top condition for the season.
     Repair or replenish anything that needs further assistance. Also look over lawn furniture for repairs and start bringing out items as weather permits. This will help save your summer time for much needed relaxation!
MULCHING
    Use your garden fork to open the soil outside the drip line of your shrubs and beyond, pull weeds and unwanted grass, then mulch. Your shrubs will be thanking you all next season. Add mulch where needed.
     The drip line is the area around your trees and bushes where the water “drips” off the branches. As your bushes expand, so should your drip lines. This helps eliminate the heavy duty chore of weed eating!
     If you’re lucky enough to have a “Bagging Mower” use that extra grass on your mulching areas and drip lines, it makes excellent mulch!
     MONEY SAVING TIP: If you have alot of mulch beds to take care of, you can rake your leaves to the drip lines in the Fall – fallen leaves makes great mulch! I try to do this right before it rains, but if you’re worried about wind blowing the leaves around, I cover the leaves with sticks – which works really well. (Grass clippings also makes great mulch as well.)

     In conclusion, spending a little time now outside, will help you have more time for some summer fun!

 

FIND OUT MORE:

• Spring Landscaping Tips to Free Up Time in the Summer
(by Blain’s Farm and Fleet)
Spring Landscaping Tips
by Sue Baxter
• 2020 Symposium
• What To Do About Brown Grass
by Purdue Extension
• Moisture Induced Diseases affecting Plants and Landscaping
by Purdue Extension
• Winter Gardening Tips from Purdue
• Protecting Your Garden from Cold Weather
(by Blain’s Farm & Fleet)
• Top Gardening Tips for a Fruitful Season
 • Visit Friendship Botanic Gardens in Michigan City
 • How to Make Your Garden Patriotic,
by Cassie Steele
 • The Greenhouse in East Chicago has Working Aquaponics
 • Visit Gabis Arboretum

 

Sue Baxter