April 10, 2013

Springtime Do’s and Don’ts

Spring is here, the sun is shining, and many of you are heading out to get those gardens in tip-top shape. Wait, before you go, take a look at these springtime gardening do’s and don’ts. What you do in your garden now will have a dramatic effect on how it performs the rest of the year, so pay attention!

Do Plant Seedlings – Toss down some grass seedlings as early as you can. Some gardeners hesitate to do this, because they’re afraid a late season frost will kill the seeds. This isn't true. Cool temperatures actually make watering easy, and grass seeds will still germinate if temperatures dip a little lower than expected. If a frost does roll in, not to worry, seedlings will wait to germinate until temperatures rise and they won’t be affected by the cold while their waiting. 

Don’t Over Mulch – Mulch is great for locking in moisture and keeping weed growth to a minimum, but still you should know that over-mulching can be a serious problem. Make sure to keep the mulch layer under two inches and never, ever, allow mulch to come in contact with the stem of your plants. When mulch builds up against a plant, it can cause serious health problems. Mulch can lock in excess moisture near the root zone and harm stem tissue. Plus, over-mulching can promote insects and diseases that wreak havoc on your plants.

Do Water Soil – As soon as you finish transplanting a potted plant, make sure to water the soil thoroughly. Doing so encourages the disturbed soil to settle and helps remove any air bubbles that were created as a result of digging. Make sure to let the soil dry out completely before watering again, you don’t want to drown your plants.

Don’t Plant Sensitive Annuals too Early – Wait to plant sensitive annuals until you’re sure they won’t be wiped out by a late frost. In the meantime, go ahead and plant cool season annuals. Cool season annuals fare much better in lower temperatures and have a better chance of surviving a late frost than warm season annuals do.


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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