Keys to Spring Cleaning Your Garden

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In the chill of winter, we sometimes forget about our gardens. Plants and trees lie dormant, waiting─like us─for spring to beckon. When it does, one of the great joys for many of us is connecting once again with growing things. Ready to rejuvenate your garden? Here are a few tips to inspire you:

Tackle it early
Taking an inventory of your garden in early spring is a clever step. First off, if you plan on growing spring veggies and/or flowers, seeds/seedlings should be planted in accordance with their growing season─which also maximizes your enjoyment through early fall. You’ll thank yourself for laying the groundwork before summer heat sets in.

Equip yourself
Take a fresh inventory of your garden tools and supplies. If you need to replace anything, now is the time. Depending on your garden size and landscape, you might need a spade/3-prong trowel, thatching and/or lawn rake, lawn aerator, garden edger, plastic leaf/lawn bags, fertilizer, potting soil, and plants/seeds/seedlings.

Clear the decks
Your gardens may have a winter layer of leaves, debris and branches that need clearing. This is also a good time to lightly prune shrubs and vines as needed. And, if you protected your garden beds with a winter mulch of leaves, you will want to rake them off to allow the soil to warm up.

Serve a spring tonic
Offering a revitalizing spring tonic will result in healthier, more densely flowering plants in summer. Compost is an ideal choice, as it releases nutrients gradually, giving your plants a steady supply of food for months. If you don’t make your own, try to find a friend/neighbor that does.

Involve your loved ones
While garden sprucing is hard work, it can also be fun. Kids can clear twigs and leaves, and often enjoy digging in the dirt. Designate a garden patch or set of containers for everyone. Your little ones will love planting seedlings and helping them thrive. And kids are more likely to eat veggies they’ve grown themselves!

As with many noble endeavors, gardens take effort. But helping things grow nourishes mind, body and spirit. When you see your lush flowers in bloom, and serve up a salad with your own fresh greens, you’ll be glad you took the time. Happy Spring!

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