Spring is Unique:
The unique thing about Spring is that the environment is so beautiful. All the flowers are blooming, the shrubs, trees and grass are green and everything is waking up from its winter nap. In most regions it's not too cold out, nor too hot. You can open all the windows and let the fresh air inside. There is a cool, refreshing breeze in our midst and those April showers will be bringing more May flowers. It's the perfect time of year to enjoy patios, decks, screened porches and lawns; a time to appreciate the beauty of the season, work on back swings, get in more time for exercise outdoors, lawn sports, putting practice, soccer, and of course, it's again time to fire up the grill. It is a great time to plant vegetable gardens in preparation for wonderful summer grilling. We will offer grilling tips in our next blog!
One of the more useful ways of getting out and enjoying Spring is to begin clearing the brush from the winter and nurturing the plant life in the yard. Begin by removing dead branches and trees, pruning and shaping shrubs and evergreens, and cleaning up and weeding flower and vegetable gardens. It is a first step in preparing yards for Spring. A great time for weeding is after a good rain. Use garden gloves and pull the weeds out from the roots. Weeding is also very important in the prevention of bugs and pests in your gardens.
Stink bugs, in particular, can spread diseases from plant to plant, stunt plant growth and cause your vegetables to be discolored or disfigured. Wear protective clothing when working outside also, covering the feet, legs, arms and hands to protect from insects, allergens or poisonous vines. Check your local township commission and find out which services are available in your area to help with the removal of weeds, brush and branches, yard waste, garbage and in the recycling of materials, etc.
Feed Your Plants:
After the brush is cleared and weeds are pulled- trim and mow the grass. After mowing you can mulch the clippings or place them curbside for pickup, if this service is available in your area. It is also the proper time of year (February/March more commonly) to fertilize lawns, shrubbery and growing vines. Use a good turf builder that has the necessary nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which promote greening, stimulate root growth and make lawns more resistant to drought disease. Regular feedings keep your lawn and plant life healthy. Feed several times from early Spring through November. Check with a garden or lawn maintenance company and choose products that will protect your trees and shrubs - spray them and protect your tree trunks also.
Prepare the Garden:
Early Spring is a time to prepare your garden soils for new plantings and/or to maintain existing plants. For those who amend the soil, Fall is a good time to do this work, but it can be done in early Spring. Use a shovel and a garden fork. To dig or not to dig! ...some gardeners choose to dig or till the soil a depth of 6 -8- inches which preserves worm tunnels and air pockets necessary for plants to remain healthy. Others, and even some experts say digging may damage the environmental networks which provide nutrients and oxygen to the soil. Those who choose to turn over the soil believe it.
Work in sections, depending on the size of your beds, and dig out a shovel full of dirt and turn the soil over in the bed. Add peat moss or composted material to add moisture and nutrients to the soil. Repeat until the entire bed is completed. If you choose not to till the soil, you can add a layer of rich, nutrient filled soil on top of your (weeded) bed and proceed from there with your plantings, seeds, maintenance of existing plants, etc. Plant your summer vegetables, perennials and any of your favorite plants. Continue weeding periodically throughout the Spring and Summer for healthy beds and lawns.
Choosing Plants and Flowers:
Early Make sure you choose plants and flowers that will thrive in your particular region. Some plants do well in certain regions, temperatures and environmental conditions. Some require a lot of sun, while others prefer the shade. Some plants and flowers require a great deal of pruning and maintenance while others do not. There are a lot of options and you can choose plants you enjoy growing, depending on your lifestyle and how regularly you choose to work in the maintenance of your beds. Use straw as mulch if desired, and place it around your beds. Do this periodically to protect your plant beds. (should also be done especially before putting your gardens to bed for Winter.)
The Watering System:
Spring is also a good time to incorporate a watering system. Use a sprinkler system to ensure the necessary moisture for lawns and/or you can set up a drip hose irrigation system that will ensure your shrubs and flowers are receiving the necessary moisture in the summer. Some choose to disconnect their back flow valves in winter because of colder temperatures. Check with your local professionals to reconnect those, flush your water lines and make sure they are working properly.
A Time for Growth:
Spring is a great time of year. It is a time for the growth and renewal of all plant, and animal life also. Plan some extra time to get outside in the sunshine and work in the yard while the weather is especially nice. Prepare a schedule of the work that needs to be done over the next couple of months so it can be completed before the summer heat sets in. In summer, you'll enjoy relaxing on the porch with a glass of lemonade and gazing upon all of the beautiful vegetation. This Spring when developing a plan, ask for the recommendations of professionals and know the conditions in your region. And be sure to use a sunscreen to protect your skin from the rays of the sun.
Thanks for visiting the Yogurt Fusion Blog! Join us next time for more of these tips and for information on early season grilling!
"Spring won't let me stay in the house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again." -Gustav Mahler