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Top Ten Gardening Tips and Chores for Spring

Every Spring I have certain tasks or chores that need to get done in order for me to be able to garden with ease.

So I thought I'd share them with you. 

1. Clean up the flower beds. I would like to say I get this all done in a one day, but I don't. Having large garden beds it takes me a few days. Basically because gardening is supposed to be relaxing for me. Not a job. So I like to spread it out, and not kill myself or my back. I do a few hours a day and then it's not such a chore.

If you drive my home, you may even see a pile of cuttings and leaves waiting to be burned in our fire pit.

Who likes the smell of burning leaves? Plus if it's chilly out, a nice fire while I am working, makes everything perfect for sitting back and enjoying my hard work.

2. Tool Maintenance. 

I have heard some gardeners say they do it after the first frost, when gardening season is over. Speaking solely for me, I need a break after gardening season, so I do it early Spring. Plus, I know what my to do list consists of, so if there is a tool or a new machine I need, this is the time. So early spring is when I sharpen my tools and see if anything needs to be replaced. So sharpen those pruners and shovels. You can also remove the blades off of the lawnmower and get those nice and sharp too.

Gloves, bug repellent, citronella candles, wasp killer. Time to make sure I have these things on hand.

3. Mulch. 

Pretty self explanatory. Time to add a nice layer to your beds to keep moisture in and weeds out. 3 to 4 inches will keep your garden beautiful all year. I personally like the colored mulches. They have gotten a lot better about retaining their color and the darker tones make my flowers pop.

4. Fertilize. 

Give your plants a good head start and fertilize. Getting your flower beds on routine or schedule is critical to get the best show out of your flowers and shrubs.

5. Trimming. 

Time to do some pre-season trimming. This is a tricky one, you have to know what plants can be trimmed and when. I have a small collection of coneflowers and sedums in the front garden, and I like to leave the flowers, so that the birds can have the dead blooms in late Fall and then I have winter interest during winter. So these get trimmed in early Spring.

Now you don't have to follow me on trimming. You can do your trimming in late Fall if that works better for you. We trim when we get a chance on trees and bushes, so it varies. But my flowers usually get their haircut in early Spring.

6. Weed prevention. 

When talking to other Gardeners, they always complain about pulling weeds, but they don't really talk about what they use for getting rid of weeds.

I think if you use a store bought pesticide, they get afraid of being judged. Or stoned to death. Personally I use three methods, depending on the area. 

I use vinegar in areas where there are no other flowers or shrubs close by, because I am wary of it affecting the other flowers. Vinegar is a natural way to kill weeds, but it takes to or three days to see results. I use it for driveway or sidewalk cracks.

Preen is an weed control available anywhere. It has a time release control, that once sprinkled liberally in your garden, will keep weeds out for 3 months. But read the directions first. After it's applied, and it rains, it gives a protective layer over the mulch to keep weed seeds from starting.

Torching. Burning the area to kill the weeds and the roots too. I love this method for because it's quick and cheap. You get results instantly, but it isn't for the faint of heart. I use this method around my garden borders because I use large rocks and a trimmer just won't get in between the rocks very well. Plus this kills weeds for up to 6 months. Naturally, no chemicals.

 If you'd like to know more about this you can read  How to Trim Around Flower Beds

7. Cleaning

We power wash sidewalk and windows for a clean start. This past winter was pretty wet and warmer then usual for my Zone 5 area. My sidewalk in the front yard is definitely looking green and slimy, so it definitely will get done ASAP. 

8. Gas powered equipment.

Lawnmowers, trimmers etc. Time to change plugs and put gas in our trusty sidekicks. Plus do any maintenance they may need. I don't know about your lawnmower, but I am hoping to replace ours this year. It is becoming a pain that constantly needs new parts put into it.

9. Furniture and cushions.

The fun part! Bringing out the pretty stuff for the yard. This is when I scrub any cushions that need a good cleaning too. My cushions get stored in the rafters of the garage, not some pristine garden shed, so cleaning them in Fall would be useless. So I do this in Spring.

Or truth be told, if they look really bad, I just replace them. I buy cheap cushions, not sunbrella fabrics, so I can save money. Plus I like to change my look every couple of years anyway. 

10. Dividing and Moving.

This is the best time for 99% of plants and shrubs to be dug up and divided. It's the way my garden grew, let me tell ya. It saved me a lot of $$$. So get those shovels sharpened and don't be afraid to dig up those perennials and divide them to make your garden grow.

Need more tips?

Clean up bird or squirrel feeders, to keep them sanitized.

Check your garbage cans and gas cans to see if they are showing signs of age and need replaced.

Organize your gardening tools all in one area so you can quickly find what you need.

Put a chalk board or dry erase board next to your tools for reminders and a supply list.

Stock up on sunscreen and keep a bottle with your tools.


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