If a low-maintenance garden is your goal, there are five basic tasks to tackle now before spring officially blooms in mid-March.
Cut back your perennials after the last freeze date in your area — all that frozen back foliage is protecting the plant and keeping it insulated. Cut back everything too soon and you’ll make the plant more vulnerable if there’s another freeze.
Weekend 2: Weed.
Hand-pull weeds when you see them pop up. The secret to weeding is to wait until after a rain when the ground is soft. The weeds come right out with minimal effort. I get a lot more weeding done in less time with this method.
Weekend 3: Prep bed for new plantings.
Prep the soil in bare areas by top dressing the area with a high quality compost and letting it simmer until planting time. Mark new planting locations with a rock, irrigation flag or even a bamboo skewer.
Weekend 4: Shop at SAWS Spring Bloom.
It’s time to plant all the new plants you’ve been dreaming of. When you shop at Spring Bloom, you’ll find lots of native plants and unique plants ideal for our area and soil types.
Weekend 5 – Mulch.
Mulch is the icing on the cake and makes everything look finished. More importantly, it helps your plants by keeping the roots cool and retaining water after watering events. Use an organic mulch — cedar is a good option — and keep it at least several inches away from any stems or trunks.
I hope this guide helps you (and me) avoid getting overwhelmed in the garden this year. It’s the simple things like planning that ensure success. So let’s get out there and tackle one task at a time to help your garden not just survive, but also thrive!