5 easy jobs to complete this spring to ensure you have a beautiful summer garden
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Achieving an amazing summer garden starts in the spring, with just a little bit of planning and preparation, you can set up your garden for summer success. The 5 jobs below are what we at the little garden house make sure to do every spring to get our garden ready for summer.
1. Remove Weeds
Ah yes, everyone’s favorite job. Right? No, me either. It is however super important, and the more often we do it, the less we will need to. Below are some tips for making this not so fun job easier..
- Wear good quality gloves to protect your hands, some weeds can be spiky or contain skin irritants.
- Use a hand weeding tool or a trowel to get weeds out easier
- Break the garden down into small areas and focus on them each one at a time for weeding.
- For any weeds coming up trough pavers or concrete, I like to use a home made weed killer that is a combination of dish soap, salt and white vinegar. See a recipe here.
2. Deadhead Roses and Spring Annuals
This task I actually find quite pleasant. Simply take a nice pair of pruning shears, and go around removing any dead flower heads. This helps the plant to continue to use its energy for producing flowers rather than going to seed. For Camelia bushes, rather than using the shears, simply pull off the dead flowers by hand, or give the bush a really vigorous shake.
3. Plant Summer Blooming Bulbs
One sure way to have color and interest in the garden for summer is to plant summer blooming bulbs! You can order bulbs online for a better selection, or check out what is available at your local nursery. We buy our bulbs from both our local nursery and online through online retailers such as Eden Brothers. Online retailers can have really interesting or rare bulbs which makes it worth the wait for shipping. Below are some recommendations for summer blooming bulbs to plant now.
- Canna Lilly
4. Plant Sunflower seeds
My absolute favorite flower of the summer is the simple but fabulous sunflower! Sunflowers remind me of my childhood and bring to mind summer days, the sound of the icecream man driving by and the smell of cut grass. So nostalgic. There is also truly a sunflower for every garden. There are small and elegant sunflowers, chocolate colored, red, orange yellow. Short and tall! Personally, I love to grow a mix, but I especially love the big showy sunflowers, the bigger the better! In a small garden like ours, the big sunflowers make a huge statement. This year we are trying the Mongolian giant. I will be sharing with you all how this goes. here are some images of prior years’ sunflowers.
5. Feed and Mulch everything
If I was asked to say the number one most important job in the garden for spring, I would say this. Feed and mulch everything. During the spring, the plants are hungry and in need of food and water. If you give them all a good feed and then top with a really thick layer of mulch, you are helping to keep in all the moisture from spring rains, keeping out the weeds (this is why this is the last step), and doubly feeding the plants, initially with the plant food and then by mulching you are adding a supply of future food as it rots into the soil. We will have other posts going into detail on our favorite mulches and plant foods. But below is a summary..
- Plant food – We use powdered plant food a lot as it is easy to spread on the soil. Our favorite is Espoma Organic because it comes in all sorts of specific varieties for each of your plants. I like to feed my plants to their specific needs.
- Mulch – My favorite mulch of all time is Kellog organic Gro mulch. I like it because it looks great, it always has lots of mycelium in it and it has reliably improved my soil for years and years now.
Spring preparation in the garden is an investment into the summer, every weed pulled, mulch put down and bulb planted will make for a more beautiful summer garden!
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