Sunday: At Home

Break out the gardening tools because spring is here! This is the time we can all start planning for our gardens this summer, and make the best of our outdoor space. I found a helpful article in Better Homes and Gardens, that might help to get you started. Take a look:

Follow This Spring Gardening Checklist For a Gorgeous Landscape Year-Round

orange and purple tulips against white picket fence

Lynn Karlin Photography

Early Spring

When you’re first getting back out into your garden, start with these tasks to build a solid foundation for your spring landscape.

1. Check for signs of growth

Did you remember to plant crocus last fall? They might already be poking their way out of the ground. And if you didn’t, you can cut forsythia or magnolia branches before their buds open and force them indoors for some early spring color.

2. Prep the beds

Remove winter mulch from around perennials or, if already well composted, work into the top layer of the soil. Clear away dead leaves or any other debris from winter storms from the soil surface so you’re ready to plant.

3. Prune

Now is the time to trim fruit trees if you didn’t prune in winter. Prune before buds begin to break into bloom or you’ll stress the tree and get a tiny crop (or possibly none). It’s also a good time to prune summer-blooming trees and shrubs, like potentilla and butterfly bush, just before they push out new growth.

4. Divide perennials

A good time to divide many perennials is just before their spring growth has begun. Dividing perennials is a budget-friendly way to fill your garden with more plants or share them with friends. It’s also good for keeping your existing perennials healthy; sometimes, if your plants grow in a large clump, the middle can thin out after a few years, leaving a bare spot. Dividing the clump will encourage fresh, new growth.

5. Perform basic maintenance of hardscaping

Check stonework for frost heaves, particularly in paths and edging. Check the general condition of your deck or patio and make any needed repairs. Clean off outdoor furniture so it’s ready when you are for relaxing after a busy day in the garden.

6. Plant veggies

Hardy, cool-season vegetables, like potatoes, artichokes, peas, and some lettuces, germinate best in cool soil, so plant them in early spring once the soil has thawed. They should be ready to harvest by early summer.

spring garden with hostas and allium

Andrew Drake

Mid-Spring

Halfway through the season, you should start seeing your spring landscape take shape as more and more bulbs, perennials, shrubs, and trees start growing again and even blooming. And with most of the clean-up done, you can get started on adding new plants to your garden.

1. Clean bird feeders

Some people like to take down their bird feeders in mid-spring and put them away until fall. If you want to leave them up year-round, now’s a good time to take them down, wash them out, and fill them up with fresh seed or nectar for spring.

2. Make notes as you watch the spring show

Some of your spring bulbs should be starting to flower! Enjoy the blooms, and take note of any empty spots where you want to plant bulbs later in the fall.

3. Plant hardy annuals

For some quick color, plant cool-season annuals like pansies or snapdragons around your yard. They also work well in containers to brighten up your front porch.

4. Add new trees and shrubs

Plant as soon as the ground isn’t frozen anymore. The earlier you can do this, the better, so your trees and shrubs have enough time to grow new roots before temperatures start getting hot.

5. Apply mulch

Once you’re finished planting, add a fresh layer of mulch around all your plants. If you mulch now before weeds have a chance to sprout, you’ll have next-to-no weeding come summer.

salvia and dark pink peonies in garden

*Article taken from http://www.bhg.com

I figured if we start there, things could be really pretty, and also worth all of the time you will be spending in that space! If you are like me, and you are not a green thumb, the best thing to do is clean up all the dead leaves, plant bulbs, and fertilize/seed your grass. Everything else is just icing on the cake. Order your outdoor furniture now if there is something that you need for the deck or patio. Stores are closed, and online shopping will be busy. If you see something you love, whip out that credit card and buy it now! Don’t wait for the rush, or you will be very disappointed.

I hope you enjoy the warm weather ahead. Go ahead and be excited! Summer is on its way. Happy Sunday everyone!

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