What to do now - Jobs in the Garden by Season

April hours for May flowers

By
Frank Ferragine
Photography by
Shannon Ross

CityTV garden and weather expert Frankie Flowers sets out eight tasks for a great garden all season long


It’s time to get our gardens in tip-top shape for the season. So flex those sowing muscles and dig into spring like a pro—here are eight things that you should do now to get ready to grow!

1. Clean up and repair
High winds, heavy snow and freezing rain are just some of the damaging elements our gardens face over winter, so spring is the time to inspect for damage, prune back or remove broken stems and branches, clean up any debris and remove any plants that just didn’t survive the deep freeze.

2. Edge and amend

An instant way to improve the garden is to amend the soil, which simply means adding in more of the “good stuff.” To improve drainage, add organic matter (like leaf mould or shredded leaves), composted manures, top soil and, in some cases, horticultural sand and grit. Also add peat moss to increase acidity and improve moisture retention. After­wards, give your flowerbeds a fresh new edging by running an edger or spade around their perimeter.

3. Prune and control
The cardinal rule is to prune after they bloom, but for those late-blooming clematis and hydrangeas, various shrubs and fruit-bearing woody plants, early spring is the time to prune into performance and snip them into shape!

4. Combat crabgrass
Use corn gluten to minimize the germination of weed seeds like crabgrass, an annual weed that spreads easily from seed. The key is to apply the corn gluten in early spring before weed seeds germinate, and remember: You must wait four to six weeks to reseed your turf grass after applying corn gluten.

 

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