Spring Clean Your Garden in 3 Easy Steps

Spring Clean-up in the Garden Beds

Spring is finally upon us (though some days it still doesn't seem like it!), and with it comes those first steps to getting your garden looking its best. To help it on its way, you'll need to do some spring-cleaning. If that sounds a little intimidating, don't worry—we've got you covered! Here are some simple steps to get you started:

Clean out garden beds

Before you can get started planting for the spring, you'll need to clear all the debris in your garden beds left from last season; this allows for better ventilation and helps eliminate harmful pests. Grab the rake and start collecting all the dead, shriveled bits, but don't just throw them out—compost them to use in the future as mulch. If any weeds have started to make themselves known, this would be a good time to remove those, as well.

Till the soil

After you've cleaned out your garden beds, you'll want to till the soil. Tilling is an important step, as it aerates and loosens the soil, which helps with ventilation and allows plants to produce a healthy root system. Before tilling, you'll want to make sure the soil is dry and warm enough—if the soil crumbles when you squeeze it in a fist, and if the temperature of the soil is over 60°, then you're good to go.

To determine if you should add any additional nutrients, like lime, manure, or organic compost, you should test your soil with a kit available at garden centers. Then, once you've tilled the designated area 6 to 8 inches deep, you can add whatever nutrients are needed, based on your soil test results. Make sure to work those into the soil so your plants get the most benefit from them, but don't over till your soil, as instead of loosening it, it can become compacted.

Add new mulch

During the clean-up stage, you removed any remaining mulch from your garden beds, which is a good thing—but after you've prepared the soil, you'll want to replace the mulch you removed. Mulch makes for a healthier, weed resistant, moisture-rich, time-saving garden; not only does it prevent drought by holding in moisture, but as it breaks down, it helps improve the soil.

From compost to pine needles to wood chips, there are a multitude of different types of mulch, so it's definitely worth reading up on what is best for your particular plants, environment, and needs. When you've made your mulch selection, spread it evenly over your freshly tilled garden bed, about 2 to 3 inches deep.

When you're ready to start planting, push back the mulch from the area where you want to add your seedlings, and then replace the mulch when your done; make sure to leave some breathing room for the plants, so they don't get smothered. When you're done, give the mulch a good health watering—you want to make sure the water is getting past the mulch, to the plants below.

Wrap up

That doesn't seem so hard, does it? By keeping these simple steps in mind, and applying a little elbow grease, you can quickly get past the clean-up stage and on to the fun part—enjoying your healthy, vibrant, bountiful garden!

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Yardmasters Landscapes, Inc.