Get Cut in the Garden with Spring

In early spring, when Mother Nature washes away winter’s drab palate with a wave of brilliant springtime color, is the best time to plan and prepare your garden. As soon as the temperature at night rises above 30 degrees and the outdoor world’s sudden surging to green life, we can start with our spring steps. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up our best spring garden tips and suggestions for designing a beautiful garden.

When you go into the garden, gently remove any leaves by raking, blowing or even by hand in the most difficult areas such as on top of ground covers or the bottoms of hedges. Don’t forget to remove all the other debris from the yard. Clip stalks instead of pulling them so you don’t disturb the growing roots or emerging shoots. Prune shrubs and trees that bloom in the summer and fall. Prune only the branches that have snapped from the winter snow and ice, of the blooming plants. Any plant that blooms in the spring has already set the blossom buds over the previous fall season. If you prune those branches now, you will cut off the blossom buds.

Tackle weed seedlings now, before thickly growing perennials make weeding tricky and endanger your favorite bloomers. Dividing or thinning shrubs or perennials such as Phlox, Sedums, ornamental grasses or Rudbeckias increase blooms and give better air circulation. Doing this will also avoid the formation of any fungi. The divided perennial can be transplanted to new garden beds or shared with your gardening friends. Fertilization of your garden should be done with a balanced organic fertilizer and compost of cow manure should be added to “stressed” areas. A balanced fertilizer includes compost, rotten manure, seaweed, and blends of single-nutrient fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are slow-acting and long-lasting, as the nutrients become available to plants only as the material decays in the soil. Edging and mulching weeds—some mulches are considered high-nitrogen mulch and can be offensive for some varieties of plants. Get advice on the correct kind of mulch to use.

Whether you have an established garden, or a glistening paradise that exists only in your mind, plan now to make a beautiful garden splash. Try adding new flowerbeds, trees, shrubs, or transplanting existing plants to modify views or create complete new areas in your landscaping. Some examples would be an herb or vegetable garden, a flower meadow or rose garden.

Existing plants can be used in other areas of your garden and new plants can be added to better suit your needs for color, screening, or to simply beautify your home. Every year there are many different plants or new versions of old favorites in garden centers. Choose hard-working shrubs and trees that earn their keep in the garden by offering beauty that goes beyond their blooming time.

Viburnum, shrubs and flowering cherry or crab apple trees can add sparkle to many seasons, with spring flowers, summer fruit that lingers into winter, and colorful fall foliage. There is no better place for raising a healthy crop of self-esteem than your own backyard. We can help you translate a fantasy of personal expression into garden reality. Happy spring!

Landscape Designer, Writer, and Lecturer Frederico Azevedo is the CEO of Unlimited Earth Care, Inc., providing landscape design and maintenance to the Hamptons for over 20 years. For more information, call 631-725-7551, or visit unlimitedearthcare.com.

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