Get your garden ready for spring
1. Clean up
Once the ground is dry, gently rake the lawn to remove dead leaves and thatch. Clear mulch from perennials and press the soil back in place if the ground is heaved by frost. Remove burlap and protective coverings. Collect branches, twigs and other debris from the garden, being careful not to disturb new growth.
2. Check for damage
Walk around and take note of any repairs needed. Do paving stones need levelling? Is the pond pump working? Is the woodwork around your raised beds in good shape?
Cut back dead stems of perennials and prune fruit trees, being careful not to prune any spring-blooming shrubs. Forsythias and lilacs, for example, start to produce next year's buds over the summer, so the best time to prune them is in the spring after the blooms have faded. You can also prune hydrangeas, roses and clematis in the spring.
4. Dress the beds
Work a good layer of fresh compost into the soil of your garden to prepare your beds for the annuals and perennials you're itching to buy at the nursery or the edibles you want to plant.
5. Take inventory
Organize your gardening supplies, take note of what you have and make a list of what you need to buy have (grass seed, gloves, fertilizer, hoses, nozzles, yard bags, potting soil, etc.). Sharpen or repair tools, such as pruners and the lawn mower blade. Check your rain barrel for damage—you don’t want all that water leaking into the foundation and causing water damage.
Young plants and seedlings are usually becoming available in March, but don’t buy too early in cold climates unless you can protect them (preferably indoors).
Start frost sensitive plants indoors, then transplant them into the garden when the weather warms up. However, you can sow pea and carrot seeds directly into the ground from late March or April, depending on your local climate. Some spring flowers, such as pansies, primulas and gladioli, can handle chillier weather.
Whether you’re planting vegetables or flowers, boost your chances of success by finding out when it’s safe to start planting in your area. Ask your local garden centre which plants grow best in shade and which ones need full sunlight.
Urban gardening for city dwellers
Even if you live in a city, you can still indulge your green thumb—it just takes a little knowledge and creativity!
Grow plants in containers
Short on space? Growing plants in containers and hanging baskets under your porch or on your balcony is the perfect solution.
A wall-mounted herb or vegetable garden is a great idea if you have a patio or balcony-sized garden. Another option for urban gardeners is a terrarium. Designed like a greenhouse, a terrarium gives plants the sunlight and warmth they need to grow.
There’s a lot more to learn about urban gardening. Here are some ideas if you live in and around Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver.
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Garden guide for March
At the first signs of spring, gardeners across Canada are eager to get started on their gardens. March is the perfect time to get your garden ready for the growing season. However large or small your back yard, here are some helpful gardening tips for March.
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