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3 Secrets to a Better Spring Garden

3 Secrets to a Better Spring Garden

It may be early April, but it’s not too early to begin your preparations for spring gardening. A well-maintained garden or landscape can do wonders for the curb appeal of your property. Whether you are looking to dress up your home for a sale or simply want to increase the value of your property, beginning your spring garden now will put you miles ahead of the competition.

If you are an avid gardener, then you probably know many of the basics to beginning your spring garden early. However, there are several important steps to take before you whip out your rake and hoe. Gutter maintenance, spring cleaning, and winter composting are all ways you can prepare for spring long before the frost clears and those green buds emerge.

1. Get Your Mind in the Gutter
When you think about gardening, your gutters are probably not the first thing on your mind. However, gutter maintenance is an important key to cultivating a healthy, vibrant garden. Over a long winter, your gutters may have become conduits for debris and blockage. As the last twigs and leaves fall and ice and snow accumulates on the roof, much of that buildup collects in your gutters. This can not only be hazardous to your home (causing leaks and gutter damage), but harmful to your garden.

Gutters act as drainage systems to whisk away water flow to designated areas of your property. If your gutters are not maintained and cleaned regularly, debris in the drains can block water, causing it to pool and overflow. Unfortunately, this often means draining right into your garden beds below. This errant water can carry away valuable soil and erode diligent landscaping.

The key to avoiding this gardening nightmare come spring is to prepare early. By late March, the weather starts to warm up a bit more and we get glimpses of an impending spring. This is a great time to grab a ladder and inspect your gutters. Simply grab a shovel or garden rake and clear out any debris collected in the drains. You may want to take a pick to break up any ice that may be frozen in the gutters. Even though it will eventually melt, ice in your gutters raises the water level and may cause overflow before temperatures rise.

Once your gutters are clean and clear, you can rest easy knowing your garden and landscaping (not to mention your house) are safe from unwanted drainage and runoff.

2. Spring Cleaning Your Garden
It’s that time of year again, when the most diligent of us swing into spring cleaning. For the gardener, spring cleaning isn’t just for your home. Cleaning out those flower beds is key to cultivating a healthy spring garden.

Cleaning your garden doesn’t have to be complicated. The most important part of cleaning is creating a space for healthy new growth in the coming months. This means clearing out leftover winter debris, raking out dead plant skeletons and weeds, and clearing drainage ditches.

Picking out dead leaves and plants from your garden will open up your garden for new growth, and provide light and air to replenish the soil. As every good gardener knows, healthy soil is the foundation for healthy plants.

Additionally, clearing out the first spring weeds now will prevent weeds from overwhelming your garden later. Early spring is the best time for this too because the roots are shallow and more easily removed. To prevent further weed growth before you plant, you can lay plastic over the soil. This will discourage new, unwanted growth and, if you turn it over every week, you will likely find slugs that have been residing in your bed. This is a great way to eliminate two pests with one spring preparation.
Lastly, clear out your drainage ditches. Just like your gutters, drainage ditches need to be clear and maintained to allow for proper water flow around your garden. This will keep your garden healthy and hydrated, while guarding against damaging runoff.

3. Getting the Most Out of Your Compost
It can be tempting to let your spring and summer hobbies hibernate during the winter months. However, the smart gardener knows to make the most of his compost year-round. This means maintaining a regular compost pile throughout the winter to prepare healthy fertilization for your spring garden.

Compost works through a combination of heat and air, decomposing organic material (brown and green) into usable compost for gardening and landscaping. During the winter, decomposition slows down due to cold temperatures. However, by keeping your compost pile covered, and fueling it with a balanced mixture of brown, dried material and green, wetter debris, you can ensure a healthy batch of compost to lay down on your garden beds at the first sign of spring. This will jumpstart your growth and keep your garden healthy and happy all year round.

By following these three simple spring preparations, your garden will be ready to swing into spring way ahead of the procrastinators!



Author Byline:
Nina Hiatthas worked with clients to find balance and beauty in their personal space through landscape and interior design. With the help of professionals across the country, from Salt Lake City plumbers to Miami architects, she can fulfill all of your home improvement needs.