It happens every year. One day it's blustery, bleak, and cold, and the next it's warm and sunny. It's time to plan and prepare your lawn and garden. Gardening can be a fun and relaxing activity for most of the year, but it is important to get an early start to help your yard to recover from its recent hibernation.
The first step to a successful gardening season is to inventory and inspect your tools. Beat the rush by going early to have your mower blade, pruning blades and other tools sharpened to a fine edge. You may even want to splurge on buying a second, well-sharpened blade for your lawnmower. That way you will have a spare on hand if the one currently on your lawnmower needs to be taken to be sharpened later in the season. A sharp mower blade is very important if you want to have a beautiful lawn. Dull blades can damage your grass and allow disease to creep in, which can be more costly in the long run to correct.
If you plan to put in a new lawn or plant bed, or if you had problems getting things to grow properly last year, don't just sit there scratching your head. Your project may call for a soil analysis. A soil test will measure the fertility of your soil and help you determine acidity and pH level so that you will know exactly what type of fertilizers and/or soil conditioners are needed to assure that your yard looks the best it can. You can perform the test yourself with a kit purchased from your garden center or hardware store. Remember to perform the test as early as possible, as soil correction is a process that can take some time.
When performing your gardening inventory also make sure to discard any outdated or improperly stored chemicals. It is very important to inspect labels for proper disposal methods. Be sure that any that you do keep or purchase are safeguarded from children and pets.
Early spring is also the best time to make arrangements to buy sod, or for sod delivery, if you plan to put in a new lawn. Be sure to use choose only moist rolls and avoid rolls with dry roots or yellowed turf. Tilling the soil where you plan to begin your spring gardening is important. But be careful before rushing into your planting. Your soil should contain no ice crystals. Handfuls of the soil should crumble easily.
Perhaps you feel you are going to need a little help getting your yard into shape. A very helpful tip is to contact landscaping professionals early. The later in the season you call, the more likely you are of being put on a waiting list.
When should you begin planting? This frequently asked question can be somewhat complicated and is not easily answered in this space. Weather, soil conditions, region of the country, and what you want to plant are all factors to be considered. It is best to ask questions at your local garden center as they will be most familiar with products and conditions that work best in your area.
Finally, many successful gardeners feel that keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of plants during spring gardening. You can write down what was a success last year, what was a failure, and what plants should be moved with the change of seasons. It will not only prove useful this year, but also next year when you may not remember all of the small details.
With the proper early spring preparation, your gardening project can be the fun and relaxing activity it was meant to be.