Springtime Gardening Chores

Black Mountain Beautification Committee

It's time to give these chicken gardening boots a workout! Before you start buying new plants, take sometime to do some spring chores as it will get your garden off to a good, healthy start. Here are ten gardening tasks you will be glad you tackled:

  1. Start a gardening journal. This will be an invaluable resource for you as it will help you remember what worked and what didn’t, and this makes your gardening efforts more effective and helps you avoid past mistakes.

  2. Check your gardening tools. Did you clean those tools before putting them away? If not, cleaning and sharpening them now is time well spent. Before mowing the lawn, sharpen blades and have it serviced
  3. Remember the 2016 drought. Install a rain barrel to collect the rainwater from your roof. The rainwater can help to improve the health of your garden, lawn, and trees.

  4. Do a soil test. Getting your soil tested is a
    great way to measure its health and fertility.
    It takes the guesswork out of fixing any
    nutrient issues. Pick up a soil test box and
    form at the Buncombe County Extension Office.
    Before planting your vegetables, fertilize your
    garden as recommended from your soil test

  5. Lawn Did you fertilize your cool-season lawn
    in February? If not, apply a slow-release lawn
    fertilizer no later than March 15. Spring is no
    t the time to renovate by over-seeding or
    reseeding cool-season turf. Small areas can
    be sodded at any time, but sod must be
    watered well to increase survival rate.

  6. Prune out dead, damaged, diseased wood in trees and shrubs as discovered. Don't prune spring flowering shrubs until after they have bloomed. Do prune fruit trees and summer-flowering plants such as crape myrtle and butterfly bush. Prune roses late in March but before bud breaks.

  7. Mulching is one of the best ways to control those pesky weeds in the landscape, conserves soil moisture and prevents soil erosion. For landscape beds, mulch the entire area. For individual plants, such as trees, the mulched area should extend at least 3 to 6 feet out from the base of the plant. The mulch should be pulled 1 to 2 inches away from the base of the plants to prevent bark decay.

  8. Edibles The following vegetables can be planted this month: beets, carrots, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, Swiss chard, turnips, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.

  9. Clean out bird houses and put up new ones. Be a good landlord and clean out the bird houses to get them ready for the next tenant.

  10. Plan your fall bulb order. Now? Yes, as you can see what bulbs you already have and where the gaps need filling. Pull out your catalog from last fall to select the colors and numbers you need to fill the voids then you will be ready to order later in the year.

The most important thing is to stop and enjoy spring. Reward yourself by just relaxing outside and enjoying all the beautiful flowers. The crocuses, tulips and daffodils are in bloom for such a short period of time. Enjoy what you have!