Friday, February 26, 2010

Some Spring Tips from Chris Olsen

Spring means that the garden centers are packed with people, and car trunks are packed with plants. Everybody has dirt on their knees, dirt under their nails, and are excited about gardening.
Installing new plants and having them grow successfully is not difficult, nor is it as complicated as some would have you think. Is it as easy as just digging a hole and setting the plant in? Yes, it certainly can be.

Another sure sign of spring is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. The time change means longer daylight in the evenings - a great time to get out and work in your garden. Now is the time to put out annuals and new perennials. If you have purchased new shrubs or trees to put into your landscape plant them after the new leaves have emerged.

This is also a great time to put in a new herb garden. If you plan to use herbs for cooking, place the garden next to your kitchen so picking and adding them to your cooking is an easy process. Finally, don't forget to plant your summer flowering bulbs such as Canna, Caladium, Elephant Ear, Dahlia, Ginger Lily and Tuberose.
The best approach is to organize your tasks and create a game plan. Here are some tips to help you get started on your Spring Gardening Task List. Soon you will be on your way to a beautiful yard that will be the envy of all your neighbors.

Inventory your tools: Replace any that need to be replaced: Was there a certain tool that you wanted all of last year but never got around to buying? Buy it now.

Clean and sharpen your tools: Purchase any needed tool accessories such as string for your weed eater. Are your gloves worn? Do you have an adequate supply of weed killer, spray bottles, ant killer, etc.? Stock up now.

Remove dead leaves and other debris from your lawn and gardening beds.

Prune shrubs and trees: Check with your local garden center for advice on what and when to prune specific plants.

Fertilize your lawn: When and how often will depend on your area and the type of grass. Check with your local nursery for advice.

Apply pre-emergent herbicides to lawn, shrubs, and perennial beds.

Remove old mulch and apply new mulch: Your new mulch definitely needs to be in place before the hot weather sets in, however, it may be applied at any time.

Care for your perennials by dividing and replanting if they are overcrowded. Cut back ornamental grasses and other perennials as needed.

Assess your yard and garden beds: Determine what plants you would like to add this year. Are there areas that need quick color? If so, you should consider planting some annuals. Do you have some underdeveloped areas that could use some perennials or shrubs or maybe even a tree? Decide what and where you want to add plants and then make plans to start planting once the threat of frost has passed.

When assessing your yard, don’t forget to consider the addition of containers, hanging baskets, and other yard accessories (such as a bird bath or bird feeders).

It is not too late to begin your plants from seeds: If the weather is still too cold in your area, you can start the seeds indoors and then plant outdoors when the weather is warmer.

Mowing and Edging: Check your mower and replace blades and spark plugs if needed and fill with fresh oil and gas. The first time you mow you should lower your blade one notch lower than usual. This will help get rid of any debris that settled on your lawn during the winter. Edging your lawn will make it look nicely manicured.

Monthly Tips: Choose from the following spring months for more exact tips of what to do during that month.

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