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Garden Design Tips

Spring Gardening Tips

March, April, and early May are the perfect time to get your yard in order. Once the temperature reaches above freezing for more than a week and the ground is somewhat thawed, you can start raking and blowing the debris off the lawn and garden beds. After your lawn is clear of leaf coverage, add a growth fertilizer to the lawn, to encourage a green grass cover. If your grass has taken a beating over the winter, it’s best to aerate and re-seed before applying a fertilizer. Young grass won’t tolerate a fertilizer in the germination stage, so it’s best to wait until the growth is well under way, before you apply any fertilizers to new grass. The ideal time to fertilize is right before a rainstorm, so that the fertilizer can seep into the roots. Next, do some light pruning on all your late blooming shrubs and grasses. Prune all dead branches on trees and shrubs. Avoid pruning azaleas, rhododendrons, lilacs and other early bloomers at this stage. These should be pruned and shaped in the fall. Instead, concentrate on the hydrangea, smoke bush, buddleia and other late summer shrubs. When pruning the hydrangea, cut any dried blossoms off and be careful not to clip any branches with growth on them. Clip only the dead wood branches off at the base of the plant. I like to have all the cleaning and seeding done by April 15. In late April into early May, you should start mulching your garden. I prefer Sweet Peet to most mulch, as this looks the most natural. Before applying the mulch to the beds, fertilize all the flowerbeds and shrubs. Use Holly-tone® for evergreens, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, holly bushes and azaleas; Rose-tone® for the rose bushes and an all purpose granular, slow release fertilizer for the flower and vegetable beds. Mulch should not be applied until you can see most of the perennials above an inch from the ground. Use mulch sparingly, as it will crush the growth on any tender perennials, still waiting to come up.

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Past Articles

Five Easy Steps to Beautiful Orchids

The Cabin Fever Cure — Easy To Grow House Plants

Tips for Fabulous Container Gardens

Fail-safe Perennials for Sun (Part 1)

Fail-safe Perennials for Shade (Part 2)

Spring Gardening Tips

Fall Clean Up Tips


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