Get your Garden Ready for Spring
Pointers to help it recover from the harsh Canadian winter
This past February was one of the coldest in recent memory, but our thoughts are turning to warmer days that we can spend digging in the dirt.
But with temperatures below freezing for the entire month of February and piles of snow across Southern Ontario, it is best to get your garden prepped before your thoughts turn to planting.
“We Canadians are a hardy people, as our many of the plants and flowers we find around our homes,” says Denis Flanagan, a horticultural expert with Landscape Ontario. “But a little prep work when the snow melts away will help ensure your garden is lush and vibrant when the warm weather arrives for the summer.”
Denis offers the following tips for getting your garden and yard ready for spring:
- After another harsh winter be sure to check plants for winter damage, prune out dead or damaged branches, damaged bark if not cleaned correctly can be a hiding place for pests and deceases.
- Rake out winter debris and dead grass (known as thatch) from lawns, open up pores on the lawn’s surface by using an aerating machine so that when you apply a high nitrogen fertilizer it is reaching the roots of the grass.
- Clean up perennial plants by removing dead foliage, carefully avoid damaging the centre (crown) of the plant, and apply a fresh layer of mulch around the root zone.
- Prepare vegetable gardens by turning the soil over to a depth of 15 inches and digging in manure and compost to supply valuable nutrients to vegetables throughout the growing season.
- Freshen up pots and containers by turning the soil and adding compost and a slow release fertilizer.
“You are usually safe to plant tender plants around the Victoria Day long weekend, but getting all of this work done now means you don’t have to do it then,” says Flanagan. “That means you get right into planting your annuals and seeds.”