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Spring Maintenance Tasks

5 spring maintenance tasks that will have your gardens thanking (and rewarding) you!

It is officially spring and, while there is still plenty of snow left, it is time to start thinking about spring maintenance for your gardens and flower beds. Giving your gardens some TLC early in the year gives plants the longest possible growing season, and the extra attention will ensure a healthy and vibrant display throughout the year.

1)     General Clean Up: Once the snow has melted you can give your gardens and beds a good spring cleaning. Remove leaves and dead branches. If your driveway is plowed, remove any sand and gravel that may have inadvertently ended up in your beds. Remove any annuals still in the ground from last year’s growing season. It is important, however, not to walk through your gardens too early and compact your soil and damage early season roots. Wait until the soil is no longer wet enough to form a ball in your hand.

2)     Prune Back Perennials: If there are still perennials in your gardens that were not pruned back in the fall, they will be looking wilted and dead now. Green stemmed perennials such as hostas, lillies, coneflowers and daffodils should be cut off at ground level. Many types of hydrangeas, such as annabelles, limelights and snowballs, should be cut back to a few inches above your soil, as should any ornamental grasses. Prune back dead blooms from flowering shrubs such as roses and lilacs as well as a few inches from branches and any small suckers at the plant’s base to encourage new growth. Some perennials, however, produce blooms during winter, and spring pruning will remove spring buds and flowers. If you are unsure, research online or allow Sandhill Nursery’s trained maintenance staff to handle your spring pruning for you.

3)     Amend Your Soil:  Mixing compost material into your soil in the spring will help your gardens thrive and add much needed nutrients. Loosen your soil first with a spade or tines. Compost from food waste or decomposed grass clippings and leaves work well, as does manure and peat moss.

4)     Fertilize:  Even if you amend your soil, after a hard winter your perennials and shrubs will benefit from a boost of nutrients. Apply a small amount of quality, granular fertilizer around the base of your flowers and shrubs. Be sure not to over fertilize, which can actually damage or kill your plants.

5)     Mulch:  The purpose of mulch in your beds and gardens goes beyond making them look great. Mulching helps regulate soil temperatures, retains moisture and slows evaporation and helps prevent weed growth.

The time you put into spring maintenance will payoff throughout the growing season as your flowers and shrubs bloom and thrive. A little care goes a long way.

Sandhill Nursery can supply all your maintenance needs, from fertilizers and mulches to tools and books. To book a maintenance consultation or to have our professional maintenance crew whip your gardens into shape, email info@sandhillnursery.ca or call (705) 789-5319.