From the longer daylight hours to the sound of morning birds, the signs of spring are all around us. But, as we know, March weather can be crazy. Or, as the Italians say, Marzo è pazzo. While spring and winter battle it out, there’s plenty to do to prepare your spring garden. Here are some ways to get your garden ready in an Earth-friendly way.
For inside plants…
- Start fertilizing house plants as soon as there are more hours of daylight than darkness.
- Re-acclimate plants that have been inside all winter to the outdoors. Ease them outside on warm days and don’t leave them out overnight until there’s no chance of frost. Don’t forget to clip dead leaves off to focus nutrients.
- Clean off leaves with a mild detergent and warm water. Don’t scrub or pull on leaves.
Your outside garden…
- Clear out weeds, debris and last year’s dead leaves from garden beds and loosen soil-pulling weeds is easier while the ground is wet.
- Add compost and natural fertilizer such as odorless horse manure when the soil is dry enough. Don’t forget to fertilize the soil around the base of lilacs and primroses.
- Help the compost decompose by turning it with a pitchfork every few weeks.
- Remove dead flower heads from bulbs that have finished flowering so their energy is able to focus on new bulb development.
- Lift and divide large clumps of herbaceous plants. Remove the old woody stalks and add them to the compost.
- Keep an eye out for aphids that like that new spring growth. Use botanical pesticide as a last resort to insect attacks.
- If trees and shrubs in your yard have broken branches or “suckers” (small young branches), cut them off as close as possible to the main branches, as they zap the strength of the tree.
- Start ordering from your seed and plant catalogs. Many catalogs are blooming with colorful photos and gardening tips to help inspire your own agricultural efforts. Here’s a link to a wonderful selection of seed catalogs.
- Use vinegar and lemon juice to remove mold and mildew from garden tools, plastic toys and lawn furniture before putting them outside. Take advantage of your town’s recycling days to properly dispose of old appliances, batteries, paint cans, and other non-trash waste items.
- Remove fallen leaves from gutters and around the foundation of the house to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Mulch sellyourhousefastwisconsinyour leaves and place them around acid-loving plants and trees.
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