In Canada our late springs are not easy for starting gardens, especially vegetable gardens. While our American friends, and fellow Canadians in Vancouver and Victoria, are busy in their gardens the rest of the country still has a ways to go before setting foot on the soil. Fear not, Mother Nature has a way of catching up so that the northern parts will get a growing season.
So why not put on some rubber boots and try to speed things up? Well, for one thing, tromping around a wet garden just compresses the soil and makes your boots dirty. You can also do a number on the inside of your home if any of the wet clumps of earth get inside. There s no need to push the rites of spring in the big garden when you can get other things in order that are just as important.
Most ardent gardeners have a compost bins or piles by the shed, or other out-of-the-way places that holds leaves, decaying vegetation and kitchen compost. This mixture has been sitting all winter long and now it is time to turn it over and get some oxygen into the mix to speed up the decomposition. Garden compost is vital to the health of the whole yard and not just the garden. Besides the fertilizing component compost provides great mulches and other soil improvements for a great price: free. By preparing the organic compost before your garden is ready to plant you can provide great soil conditioners and nutrients. And instead of buying mulch it will be right there to keep the soil loose for water retention and aeration of the roots.
Power Tools Preparation
One of the most disheartening sounds in the spring is the sputtering of garden power tools such as aerators and tillers, machines that won t start. Add lawn mowers and weed whackers to the list of lawn and garden tools and the average homeowner may have an orchestra of worn out sounds. Well before the yard is ready begin to get your power tools into shape in the order that they are needed. If something doesn t work there is plenty of time to get it fixed. This includes getting blades sharpened and scraping off rust flakes and coating bare steel with rust paint.
Clean Out the Garage and/or Shed
Many people begin to think about their gardening tools and other garden necessities on the day they want to begin. After a long winter the storage area, whether it s a shed or garage, may not be a pretty site and April is not the time to start getting things together. While the snow is on the ground take a few hours every weekend to get your tools in shape and make a list of supplies that you will need. If the fall clean-up wasn t enough to get rid of the clutter make the spring cleaning especially thorough. Then, when the ground is dry, you are ready to jump in.
Seeds and Plants
When it comes to tomatoes and other plants many Canadians begin with seeds in late February. The small plants are allowed to grow on warm sunny days behind the safety of glass either in a war greenhouse or livingroom area. On warm, spring days these plants are taken outside to test the weather on their own and harden. When the weather dictates that planting is ready to go the plants are over a foot tall and have been allowed to adapt to their new weather patterns. For some type of plants and flowers it is a good time to order them so that the landscaping establishment will have them on hand when the warm weather brings out a flood of buyers.
In Canada any time from late February on is a good time for pruning trees and shrubs. This is only for those trees and shrubs that are not spring blooming otherwise the beauty of the blossoming will be missed. During this time the thinned out bushes can be cleaned of debris that was not easy to reach during the fall.
After pruning the rest of the yard can be cleaned of debris that has accumulated over the winter or things that were missed in the fall. This includes spruce bough and leaves that were spread out to protect the flowerbeds in the winter. In addition burlap covers for shrubs and trees can be taken off. Be sure to spread these out and dry them in the sun before storage or any dampness might lead to mold growth. Remember, everything that is put away now should be itemized in preparation for taking out and putting in place in the fall.
When the weather begins to get hot and the ground dries then the garden work can begin. Also remember that the soil should not be allowed to get too dry or the roots will burn. This is where compost and garden mulch will come in handy.Posted by: TrustedPros