The trees have started to fill in, the bushes are growing new leaves, and it’s time to start realizing those mid-winter dreams of spring plantings. I thought I’d make a short checklist that you could use this weekend to get started – just three easy steps (with some gardening tips in-between)!
Out with the Old
This might not be the case for you, but we had lots of dead leaves from fall that acted as mulch and protected our perennials throughout the winter. It was super but not the most attractive thing for our beds, so it had to go! We cleared out all the dead leaves from the beds, and actually started a compost pile with them around the back of the house. Another good side to this is that you get to see what bulbs are coming up, but be careful when removing the leaves as to not break any new shoots.
Adding new plants is my favorite part, and we added lots of herbs and perennials this year that I’m excited to watch grow and fill in. It’s such an exciting process! Make sure to look at the tags on the plants you buy to see what kind of light they like best, and think about whether you’d like to fill in with annual color or some perennials that you want to see grow back every year. When you plant them, make sure to shake out the root ball and dig a hole larger than the plant so that the dirt around it isn’t compacted.
Hydration is Key
The ideal planting conditions is cloudy because the sun might cause unnecessary stress to your plants as they adapt to their new settings, but otherwise plant them in the afternoon and wait to water them until the sun goes down, to prevent burning them. Also, sprinkle fertilizer around your plants or use a liquid fertilizer in the water to encourage new growth all summer long!
I hope these steps and tips are helpful! We’re hoping to plant a cut-flower garden in our side yard (as opposed to a produce garden) this year, but it will take clearing a lot of very thick ivy so those plans might or might not work out. I’ll keep you posted!