If you have decided that you want to tackle your garden head on there are several things you should know before getting started:
The first and easiest step is to clean up the damage winter has left in its wake. Physically this will be the hardest part of your spring gardening. However, this stage does not require any gardening knowledge. Look for fallen branches, fall leaves and generally anything that is not “attached”. This will leave you with a better general picture of what can be tackled next. Don’t forget to include things like cleaning out bird baths, pulling out any dead annuals remaining in planters and hosing down areas that are covered in mud such as patio stones and decks.
Spring requires some pruning of shrubs as well as cutting back any dead growth left over from perennials. This can be tricky; especially for perennials as not all of them should be cut back right away. As a good rule of thumb, old growth for perennials can be cut down to the ground. For shrubs and bushes prune, any dead branches that don’t have any signs of new buds as this is dead wood. It is best not to start pulling any new growth in case what you think is weeds are actually perennials.
Start a Journal
It is a good idea to start a journal complete with photos if possible. Watch the progress of what is coming up and continue to prune and remove anything that seems truly dead. Record each step so you know what work has been complete. You can then do a sketch of the garden and include new plantings as you go so you can keep track of them the following spring. You can also take photos to your local nursery and ask what plants you have and what might be weeds so you can clear room for new plantings. Your journal will provide a guide of what blooms when which is really helpful when deciding where to add new plants. This way you will always have flowers in bloom in each area of the garden for a nice balance.
As you can see spring gardening is a lot of work. Hiring a professional landscaping company to keep your garden looking amazing is your best bet, especially if you don’t have a green thumb.