Spring is arriving in the North Shore. After a hard winter Northshorite green thumbs are aching to get cracking. It is therefore time to take stock before embarking on major projects in the garden. Indeed, the rains, the snow, the frost and the lack of sun have put soil and vegetation to the test. North Shore News has got you covered on how to prepare your garden after winter.
The ornamental garden
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Once the hard frosts have passed in April, it’s time to remove the wintering films and veils from your plants so that they can really benefit from the sun’s rays. If you are in a rather cold region, do not hesitate to remove the winter cover during the day and put it back on at night until the weather is milder. Take care of your shrubs: remove broken branches and prune them if necessary. Reduce the size of your roses by two thirds (leave at least three eyes) and provide them with fertilizer.
Compost, potting soil, coffee grounds, crushed horn… are all natural products that you can incorporate into the soil of your beds, at the foot of your shrubs and in your flower beds.
From March, you can take cuttings or divide your existing plants that have developed well. You can also plant new perennials. In addition, take the opportunity to arrange your space: create neat paths with pretty garden edging, close access to the vegetable patch with a screened gate.
The vegetable garden
If it’s still too early to cultivate, save time by organizing yourself as much as possible. Get a sketchbook and think about the new arrangement of your fruits and vegetables. Indeed, reviewing their layout to rotate crops is essential because each plant withdraws a certain type of nutrient from the soil but also rejects fertilizing elements. Not always putting them in the same place allows you to diversify your soil and avoid its impoverishment. However, you can start weeding and aerating the soil. It is not advisable to turn everything over, so as not to disturb the microorganisms living in the soil.
However, if you are in a rush to sow, you can start planting under cover. Take out your germination kits to start your crops then install tunnel greenhouses when your plants are big enough. Finally, do not forget to restart your water collection tank that you had emptied before winter. You can also install a water collector with tap on the downspout of your gutter.
A green thumb’s armament: The tools
If you haven’t already done so, organize a small practical corner for your gardening work such as repotting your plants or repairing your tools. You can also store your gardening gloves in a dry place and store your bags of potting soil. Having everything on hand and in one place is much more practical than having one part in the garage and another in the garden shed!
Don’t wait to check your gardening tools, which have been sitting idle all winter. Re-sharpen the blades to obtain clean cuts, eliminate any rust spots, loosen jammed tools… Finally, the most important thing is to disinfect your pruning shears type cutting tools with 90° alcohol or methylated spirit. This eliminates bacteria and avoids transmitting diseases from one plant to another during spring pruning.