Spring sometimes seems like one big project in the gardening world. All the beginning growth added to the time for planting seeds and dividing old plants and too many tasks to name inside one sentence means we are busy. This project page is a quick and easy way to access some of the articles to help us accomplish what needs to be done, and enjoy one of the most delicately beautiful scenes in the garden. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey when gardening!
Keep a Journal
Have you started a garden journal yet? Take the time to record your growing season, the seeds you bought and planted, your plans, and the names of the shrubs, trees, and perennials. Your notes can be detailed or general, but a journal will be a help when you want to remember and record what happened in the garden.
- Preparing ground, vegetable and flower beds.
- Planting trees and shrubs
- Dividing perennials, planting perennials
- Planting annuals
- Hardening off indoor sown plants
- Getting mowers ready for the mowing season
- Applying fertilizers
What I love most about the spring garden is the many flowering bulbs that are blooming in my garden. From the large, brightly colored tulips to the naturalized Scillas that spread a carpet of blue, I delight each year in their appearance. A journal is the best place to record names of those that do well, or that are wanted for next year’s show.
If you aren’t sure what type of soil is in the garden, now is a good time to use the simple “ball squeeze testSqueeze a moistened ball of soil in the hand” for the basic structure, sandly, loamy, or clay. More on that, here.
If the soil is predominantly clay, delay working it (digging and tilling) until it dries enough to be crumbly. Read more on maintaining the tilth of the soil.
When catalog orders arrive, plant bare root trees, shrubs, and perennials with the same basic technique. Hold any annuals until past the frost dates, when the soils have warmed.
Work first with your trees, then with your perennials, next are cold crop vegetables, followed by annuals and tender crops. The progression of spring dictates best practices for working the soil and planting.
Spring is the gardener’s busiest time of the year. Every timesaving tip, and every growing tip is welcome.
Gather informative tips that ease the gardener’s work, providing greater planting and growing success.
Fruit trees should be planted in early spring, and spring blossoms lead to summer fruits- be sure to fertilize established trees.
If you are planting some new ones check out the general planting instructions for your new shrubs and trees, “How to select a tree” and “How to plant a tree“.
Some people worry about the effects of frost on their fruit and ornamental tree blossoms. There is very little one can do about the vagaries of the weather, but some forethought in situating the tree at the beginning can serve to somewhat protect them.
A “microclimate” created by a barrier such as other trees or a building can sometimes create almost a zone of difference.
South facing garden areas can make plants more susceptible to frost damage, North facing will retard the bloom and perhaps escape the harm of late frosts. Walls of buildings can hold heat. All are things that influence the time of blooms on your flowering trees and plants.
Plant early crop veggies starting as early as March, but certainly in April.
Peas, cole crops such as cabbage and broccoli, lettuces, and other greens are hardy enough to plant as soon as your ground is workable. Check out the garden tasks for Spring months, March, April, and May in the garden calendar
Try a Spring Recipe
How Do You Divide Perennials?
Learn more: Why divide now
7 Steps For Perennial Division, click
- Prepare ground for replanting; dig in any amendment.
- Lift the plant gently with a digging fork with as much root as possible.
- Take two forks and pry sections apart, or use a sharp garden spade to slice through the plant to make sections. Be sure to have a piece of crown and some healthy roots for each new plant.
- Prepare new plant by trimming any dead or damaged roots.
- Place new plant into prepared ground with growing crown at the same level it was previously (some plants are sensitive to being buried too deeply).
- Cover roots with loose soil, firm and mud in to prevent air pockets.
- Lightly mulch or cover newly set plant if the day is sunny or windy. Keep moist until new growth appears. Spring cooler temperatures and rains are ideal for newly divided plants
What is “mudding in”? Adding enough water to the soil to create mud. This will fill the soil around the roots and get rid of air pockets. Used in the transplanting process.
From early spring seed starting through planting out once frost danger is past, annuals are part of our spring planting ritual each year.Intro to Annuals
Hardiness of annual seeds depends on where they are planted, so lists often differ. Use these example lists as a guide.
Example list of hardy annuals:
- Bachelor Buttons (Centaurea cyanus)
- Candytuft (Iberis umbellata)
- Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
- Clarkia elegans
- Centaurea (Bachelor buttons and Sweet Sultan)
- Larkspur (ConsolidaÂ ambigua)
- Love in a mist (Nigella damascena)
Example list of half-hardy annuals:
- Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)
- Bacopa cordata
- French Marigold (Tagetes patula)
- Gypsophilia elegans
- Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
- Swan River Daisy, (Brachycombe iberidifolia)
Example list of tender annuals:
- Impatiens wallerana
- Gypsophila elegans (Baby’s Breath)
- Tropaeolum majusÂ (Nasturtium)
- Strawflower (Helichrysum bracteatum)
- Tithonia rotundifola (Mexican sunflower)
How to Harden Off Annuals
Plants started indoors aren’t used to the harsher conditions of outdoors. A process of gradually getting them used to it, called “hardening off”, is part of growing your own plants from seed.
Begin slowly. Take your flats of seedlings into outdoors in a sheltered shady place starting with one to two hours. Each day increase the time by a couple hours. Increase the amount of sun the plants are exposed to, and over the course of two weeks (possibly less), the plants become capable of growing in the outdoors on their own.
Hardening off is an important step before planting.How to plant your flats of annuals
Follow The Seasons
- Lily of the Valley
- Christmas and Lenten Roses, Hellebores
- Plant Virginia Bluebells To Make Spring Sing
- 12 Low Growing Spring Perennials
- Moss Phlox
- 5 Steps To Dazzling Daffodils/a>
- My Favorite Tulip Varieties
- Stretch The Bloom Season
- Put together your flowering containers
- Where Should I Put that Tree?
- Planting A Bare Root Tree/a>
- 5 Choice Small Bulbs for a Spring Garden
- Easy seeds for your child’s garden
Celebrate A New Beginning
There is so much to celebrate in the garden during this season, and although it sometimes looks warmer than it is, the flowers and plants are showing their colors and brightening up the world. This is such a busy time for gardeners, but try to visit public parks that have early flowering shrubs on display, or visit an Arboretum to find Â plants for your own yard. Take walks to enjoy the scents and colors, the buzzing insects and even do some birdwatching.
The world is alive!