Earth Day happens in just a few weeks, on April 22 to be exact. Let’s all just agree to demonstrate and support environmental initiatives on all the rest of the days in April, too. Heck, how about all the days of the year? Wear your Earth Pride on your sleeve at all times, and maybe those who don’t quite understand that supporting environmental initiatives is a full-time gig, well, maybe they’ll finally start to get it.
From the looks of things, Mother Earth is emerging from her winter nap a few weeks earlier than normal. If you are just waking from your own seasonal stupor or are getting yourself off the March Madness couch and you’re thinking, “Oh gosh, I’ve got some cleaning up to do!”, not to worry! We’ve pulled together a few tasks and tips to make your garden and yard springtime ready. And because we have environmental awareness, we’ll do it all with natural processes in mind.
We’ll start the spring garden gear-up process by asking ourselves a few key questions.
What Do I Need to Clean Up?
Rake your garden beds and perennial borders. Leaves and debris have piled up around bushes, fencing and hedges. These piles are the perfect place for critters and pests to hang out, so remove them! Pick out any trash and compost the rest. You can make leaf compost by itself, or use the leaves as a carbon source for your compost pile. While you’re raking, make note of any fencing or raised beds that need some repair. Now is a good time to secure holes and shore up beds.
What Supplies Do I Need?
Take a rainy spring day to organize your garden shed. Give your tools an extra clean and oil any gears. Use a wire brush to remove stuck-on soil from pots. Check your rolls of frost cloth, wire and twine and the state of your garden stakes and plant supports. Make a list of the soils, amendments and fertilizers you have on hand (include quantities). It’s always a great idea to have extra bags of our Planting Mix Compost Blend on hand. Rainy days are good days to make a run to the garden supply store.
What Do I Have in My Spring Garden?
Viewing the spring garden landscape can be deceiving. It mostly looks like nothing, even though you have something. Trees and bushes are bundles of naked twigs. Perennials are maybe just breaking the earth to emerge. You know you have some rhubarb and some asparagus somewhere but they aren’t up, either. Your patio pots and window boxes are empty. Take stock of what you have by viewing your yard and garden through a summertime lens. When everything leafs out, will you need another perennial phlox over there? Perhaps another Pieris by the entry? Maybe not everything leafs out and you’ll need to do some replacing.
What Do I Want?
You’ve already viewed what you have in your garden through the summertime lens. View it now as new plants, new beds, new features. Gardeners always have an “I want this” list. Maybe you tried a new pepper that worked out really well for you last year. Get it again. Or maybe you always wanted to try okra. Give it a go! Consider your garden’s “physical plant,” too. Maybe it’s time to set up some irrigation lines, or you’ll try a Florida weave for your tomatoes. Or maybe you retire those gas-guzzling lawn tools and go electric.
What About My Houseplants?
Not all spring gardening activity happens outside. April is a great month to do a biannual checkup on your houseplants, with the best part of it being that you can do the dirty work on the porch on a warm April day. Snip off any dead stems and leaves. Take the plant out of the pot and check for roots wrapping around the inside. That is an excellent indication that it needs repotting into a larger vessel. Obtain a fresh new pot and some of our Premium Blend Potting Soil and it’s good to go. And if the houseplant is happy in its pot, add in some Worm Castings to reinvigorate the soil.
This list may seem exhausting but it isn’t exhaustive. There’s always something to do in the garden in April—pull weeds, rake up the stones that appeared over winter and even snip some early-emerging garlic leaves. It’s Mother Earth’s springtime thank you for coming back to garden another year.