When you feel the sting of winter begin to fade away, you know it is time to plan your spring cleaning in earnest. Wait for the last of the frost spells to be out of the way before you begin clearing your garden and preparing it for a new round of growth and development.
1. Clearing debris
If there are any dead annual plants littering the garden, pull them out from the roots and make a compost pile from them. Fallen branches and leaves, and the remains of any fauna, must all be removed to make way for a new beginning.
2. Dealing with perennials
Perennials call for special spring care. Most perennials succumb during the winter, and new plants emerge in spring. When you see new growth sprouting up from the ground, it is time to remove the mulch and level the soil. Most woody flowering perennials must be pruned in the spring as blooming occurs only on new branches. Soon after the beginning of spring, flower buds emerge on the lower branches, signalling that the older branches are to be pruned.
Early spring weeds can be a real menace. As you prepare the garden soil, you will notice weeds sprouting up across the garden, and these must immediately be removed by the roots. It is important to note that cutting weeds above the ground will allow them to grow back, and they must thus be pulled out by the roots. Address weeds before they get entangled in the new growth of your desirable plants.
Spring cleaning will leave you with a healthy compost pile. However, you must ensure that no diseased plants or affected parts of trees are added to the pile as the microbes may attack the fresh plants when the compost is used for fertilization. Avoid adding weeds to the compost pile as they can re-attack the garden.
As the first days of spring warmth ring in a new year and the last of winter precipice melts away, you must till the soil after clearing the garden. The depth of tilling and the patterns is subject to change. Have the pH of soil tested, and corrective measures must be taken if the soil is too acidic or alkaline. The right pH is a pre-requisite for optimal plant growth, and this number is determined by the plants that are to be grown. Allow the soil to be aerated and watered so that its vitality is restored. If the soil is healthy, a touch of manures and fertilizers is all that is required. Imbalances will require you to take corrective measures to restore nutritional value.
A protective layer of mulch works wonders for your garden by keeping the moisture locked in, nourishing the soil, cooling roots and killing weeds. However, keep the layer of mulch from crowning plants, emerging stems and germinating seeds. Once the sapling are out and healthy, you can add a layer of mulch to the soil bed.