Sometimes it seemed like the winter of 2013/2014 would never end but believe it or not the days are getting warmer and longer and the official start of spring is just around the corner. Northern growing zones start to come alive in May, and now is a great time to get back out into the yard and lay the foundations for a great looking yard for the rest of the year.
Before you even think about doing anything in your yard, it’s important to give the ground time to dry out. You don’t want to put pressure, even your own weight on wet soil because it’s so easy to compact. Take a handful of soil and squeeze it. If it sticks together in a ball, it’s still too wet to work. If the ball breaks open and crumbles, the ground is dry enough to work and you can get out and rake your grass and dig around in your beds.
Early spring is a good time to cut back old growth on your perennials – just be careful not to remove any of the basal foliage that’s just starting to come up. Perennials should be cut back to 6 – 8 centimeters. Woody perennials can be cut back to about 15 centimeters.
Soil preparation is vitally important for successful gardening. Soil is made up of clay, silt, sand, and organic material. Soils rich in clay retain water while sandy soils won’t. Plants that need damp roots don’t grow well in a sandy soil. Add organic material like compost or manure into your soil regularly. If you haven’t already done it, now’s a good time to have your soil tested to determine its composition and if it’s acidic or alkaline. You can either take steps to change the composition of your soil, or select plants that are best suited for your growing conditions.
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