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Top 10 Tips To Prepare Your Garden For Spring

Winter is normally a quiet time in the garden in Westchester and Putnam Counties NY, but it won't be long before Spring arrives and you will be caught up in the frenzy of seed sowing, growing and nurturing your garden as it comes to life. Getting your garden in order as it comes to life. Getting your garden in order early will make the Spring a little less hectic.

1. Order Summer flowering bulbs and seeds

This is the perfect task for a wet and windy day. Summer flowering bulbs, such as Lilies, gladiolus, and ranunculus can be planted in early Spring for a colorful Summer display. 

2. Clear up flower beds and borders 

Have a general tidy up and remove leaves and other debris from your flower borders, lawns and ponds. You can cut back the old dead growth of deciduous grasses and herbaceous perennials now, although if you’d like to be wildlife friendly then its best to leave the tidy up until early spring. If the soil is workable you can dig a 5cm layer of organic matter such as well-rotted manure, compost or recycled green waste into empty garden borders.

3. Clean the planting area

Set aside a clean area for your plantings before spring arrives! This areas will become home to trays of seedlings and cuttings. 

4. Sow seeds that need a longer season

In January and February you can start to sow seeds of plants which require a longer growing season, such as Geraniums (Pelargoniums), BegoniasAntirrhinumsPeppers and Aubergines. They’ll need to be grown in a heated propagator or similar to ensure good growth. .

5. Get rid of garden pests now

Hunting down and removing hibernating pests now can save a lot of time and work over the Spring and Summer months. Take a close look at the crowns of your perennial plants and you may find slugs, snails and aphid colonies sheltering for the winter. If you have not cleared last year's pots of their bedding, do so now and be on the lookout for the white weevil larvae, which live in compost and feed on plant roots. Be sure to destroy any you can find.

6. Install Water Butts

These are used to collect water. Not only does it help the environment, it is also very good for plants in area 4, which is most of New York state.

7. Move Deciduous Plants

If you have a badly placed deciduous shrub, now is the time, while it is still dormant, to move it. Choose a calm day to prevent the roots drying out. Make a wide berth around the shrub when digging it up. Take as much of the root as possible for the quickest establishment in its new surroundings. Try to place the shrub in the same hole depth as it was previously. It is important to water well after replanting.

8. Fix Gates, Trellises And Any Broken Structures

Although it’s cold outside this is the ideal time of year to get those niggly little jobs out of the way! Any broken structures or tools are best fixed now so you have more time to spend in the garden during spring and summer. Treat your wooden garden structures with a wood preservative during dry periods.

9. Sharpen Garden Tools

Give your tools a clean and a sharpen! Caring for your garden tools not only helps preserve them, it saves you money in the long run and helps prevent the spread of disease. Dirty secateurs may introduce bacteria and fungi to fresh pruning wounds. Sharpening your tools will also improve their performance; they’ll be easier to work with and will give cleaner pruning cuts.

10. Create A Compost Area

If you haven’t already then try setting up a compost area in your garden. This could simply be a ready-made compost bin or you could build a compost bin yourself using spare bits of wood. Not only will you have somewhere to put your garden waste but your plants will benefit from the rich compost created when it all breaks down! Make sure you have a good mixture of grass clippings, vegetable peelings, paper and woody prunings. To help the process along you’ll need to turn your compost with a garden fork each month to keep it aerated.

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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Gain Despite Data Surprise and Stock Rally

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Bonnie Koff  |  Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker  |  William Raveis Legends Realty Group  | Tarrytown Office 
914-332-6300  |  37 Main Street, Tarrytown, New York 10591  |  Email