The urge to garden in early spring is primal. Re-connecting with the earth is affirming, renewing, promising. Waking up the garden to a new growing season is about more than soil and seedlings... Check out these Tasks to help you have a more pleasant Summer Garden.
CLEAR OUT YOUR GUTTERS & DRAINS
Leaves and debris gather in drainage areas over the winter. Now is the time to ensure that the spring rains will have adequate drainage. Spring seedlings do best in soil which drains well. Because vegetative growth is at a low point in early spring, this is the easiest time of year for clearing drainage ditches. And be sure to put the cleared material, usually dead leaves and small branches, into the compost. Spring compost piles are commonly short on carbon-rich materials, and every addition helps.
REPAIR PLANTER BOX'S, FENCING & TRELLISES
Dry & Hard winter soil puts strain on raised beds.. Check Your Foundation & Brick Work for Cracks, Any bowed or leaning sides should be fixed now.
Trellises and fencing are also easiest to repair after the first spring rains as the soil with be soft to dig holes etc.
REMOVE WEEDS & MULCH BEDS
Any weeds which appear in your garden beds will be easiest to pull now, as the roots are shallow. Covering bare spots with mulch or ground cover will minimize the emergence of new weeds. Adding mulch to a depth of 5 to 10cm is usually sufficient. Black plastic sheeting can also be used to cover the beds before planting as a way to suppress emerging weeds, And if you flip the sheeting over once a week you may likely find slugs which have been hiding in the bed. This is a simple way to reduce the slug population in garden beds.
When adding mulch to garden beds or around the base of fruit trees, keep the mulch a few inches away from tree trunks and the crowns and stems of plants. This will help reduce rot on the stems of young plants and will protect the bark of young fruit trees.
TREE FELLING AND PRUNING
Prune unwanted branches of trees and shrubs. Cut back any remaining dead perennial foliage from last season. Prune roses just before they start to bud out.
TRANSPLANT ANY EXISTING SHRUBS YOU WANT TO MOVE BEFORE THEY BEGIN TO LEAF OUT
Soil conditions in early spring are favorable to transplant because the soil is more consistently moist, which helps new rooting to expand from the transplant zone and reach out for more nutrients. To transplant, use a spade to find the edges of the main root mass, then dig down and under to loosen the root ball. Dig the new hole several inches wider all around, add compost or organic fertilizer. Once the transplant is set in place, filling in around the sides with lightly compacted soil will promote lateral root growth.