6 ways to prepare your garden for spring

6 ways to prepare your garden for spring

Gardeners, it’s about 45 days after spring, March 20thy Being the vernal equinox, it translates into equal periods of day and night hours. The daylight hours begin to increase as the night hours diminish, giving us more time outdoors to do the things we enjoy most – like gardening! Spring is near. So, to prepare for its arrival, start keeping track of gardening tasks that (if you’re like me) have moved further down your priority list. The final frost date will likely fall somewhere between the end of February and mid-March, but if you plant temperature-sensitive plants early, prepare by providing a frost cloth to cover the tender plants.

maintenance – Prepare for the “hustle” of spring by making sure your garden tools and equipment are in good working order. Mower blades and pruning tools need to be sharpened, rust removed from pruning tools, leaky garden hoses fixed, pruning tools rusted out and sharpened, shovel/hoe handles smooth and oiled, wheelbarrow tires trapped air, etc. Perform essential garden maintenance tasks now, before Spring is arriving, otherwise you’ll be starting the season with an expanding to-do list that’s hard to catch up on!

Pruning – pPerennials can be cut to the ground with the old wood removed because they grow back every year. When to prune really depends on the type of plant. Flowering plants should be pruned in the spring after They thrive. There will also be times, albeit rare, when this Texas native will need a little pruning, removing limbs that are close to the ground or dead wood.
vegetables – In Southeast Texas, vegetable planting begins in February, but not for sensitive plants like tomatoes or peppers, which require warm soil and will suffer severe damage from a freeze. Plant asparagus (crowns), broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, pak choi, potatoes (seed potatoes) and tatsoi. Direct sow seeds for: beets, carrots, cool-season greens, daikon, scallions, lettuce, mustard, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, and kale.
Trees, fruits and ornamental plants – All potted perennials can now be planted. Summer and fall blooming perennials, such as daylilies, can be divided and planted in preparation for spring growth. Roses, shrubs, fruit trees, citrus fruits, deciduous and evergreen trees can be planted. Remember that most trees and shrubs require minimal or no pruning, as this may harm the tree.
Start fertilizing your citrus trees, and continue until the end of September to early October. A nitrogen fertilizer is usually needed, and this requirement can be met organically using compost or blood meal.
Prune roses with the goal in mind – they need an open, vase-like shape to allow for better air circulation and disease prevention, especially with our high humidity levels! no Prune only spring-blooming roses as the buds will be removed! Antique roses, which are repeat bloomers, need to be cut back to about a third of their size and “fake” roses can be pruned back by one or two feet, as they grow quickly. Train climbing rose canes, attaching to supports for a tidy look.
Inspect fruit and nut trees, and remove hanging bark “bags,” as they are an indicator of the presence of silkworms. If you plant strawberries (in October like me), there will be less ripening and increased yields. It may take until March depending on the weather, but keep watering and weeding while keeping an eye out for pests like snails and slugs!
Ornamental grass Some grasses, such as pampas grass, can be mowed at this time, but refrain from using mowing on native grasses such as Mexican ryegrass, Sideoats Grama, Lindheimer, or Muhly, as they prefer to “fluff” to remove dead material. Wear heavy leather gloves, raise your hands up, and open your fingers to remove dead material inside the plant. There are other methods of removing dead material that mimic a grassland environment, and I do not recommend or encourage them because of the inherent risks associated with fire.

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