Spring is here! The weather is warming up and soon you’ll be able to go outside without feeling like you’re about to die. But spring can be tough on plants. Even though you might not have any flowers in your garden yet, there are steps you can take now that will help them survive the summer heat and last long enough for blooms come fall. Here’s how:
How to choose the right fertilizer for your garden.
To make sure your annual flowers get a good start in the spring, you should choose the right fertilizer for your garden. The type of fertilizer you use will depend on your plants’ needs, how long they have been growing, and how much time has passed since their last feeding. The following chart shows which fertilizers are best for different types of plants:
- When choosing a type of fertilizer for your annuals, make sure it’s labeled as “timed release” or “slow release.” These types of fertilizers release nutrients over time so that they don’t burn or damage plant roots when applied too early or too late in the season.
- Choose granular or powdery high-nitrogen fertilizers such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 (1) because they provide immediate results with few side effects like burning or stunting growth (2). Low nitrogen ratios like 5-5-(3)10-(4)0 can help prevent these issues but may take longer to achieve desired results than higher levels would.*
Are you watering too often or too little?
How often you water your annuals depends on the plant, soil and weather. If you are unsure how much to water, it is best to err on the side of too little until you learn which plants like their roots moist at all times and which prefer a longer dry period between waterings. The best way to test whether your plants need more or less water is by feeling the soil with your fingers (yes, really) or using a moisture meter. If it feels moist but not soggy when gently squeezed, then this is probably right for that particular plant at this time of year. When in doubt about whether you should be watering frequently or infrequently (or not at all!), check out this article from our archives for some tips on getting things just right: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/when-should-i-water-my-garden?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=GKH+Email+20190328+14202
Extra inches of mulch can save your plants from a late-season frost.
If you live in a frost-prone area, you may have to prepare for the possibility of unexpected freezes. One way to help your plants stay warm is by amending your mulch with an extra inch or so of composted material. Mulch helps prevent soil from overheating during the summer months, but it also works well as insulation against subzero temperatures. Keep in mind that if it gets too cold outside, even mulching won’t prevent frost damage!
Got weeds? Get rid of them now before they invade.
You may have weeds in your yard that have been there for years, and they are just getting worse. If you don’t do something to eradicate them now, they will be an even bigger problem next year.
Weeds are the bane of any gardener’s existence. They can invade flower beds, lawns and vegetable gardens alike, making it difficult to grow anything else. It’s important to take care of them before they take over your lawn or garden beds this spring!
Are you turning the soil and mixing in compost correctly?
Turning the soil and mixing in compost correctly is essential for a successful germination. You’ll need to turn over the soil with a spade, or garden fork if you have one, until it’s completely broken up and mixed with compost. If you don’t have any compost at home, there are lots of options online where you can buy some. There are also plenty of ways to make your own at home:
- Wash all fruit and vegetable scraps and place them in a large container such as a bucket or bin where they can decompose (but be sure not to use plastic containers). Cover the top with leaves or newspaper so that moisture cannot escape but air can still circulate around the scraps. When it’s full, add more scraps!
- Use leftover coffee grounds from making coffee; spread them evenly throughout the surface of your prepared soil bed before covering with potting mix and starting seeds/seedlings in pots/trays indoors during winter months (or keep them outdoors in an unheated garage). This will help keep pests away while enhancing earthworm activity which helps loosen compacted soils; allowing nutrients such as nitrogen & phosphorous—which are lost when using chemical fertilizers—to be absorbed by plants more readily when planted out into beds later on in springtime!
We should all be prepared by spring!
Prepare your garden for spring.
It’s time to get your garden ready for spring flowers.
That means digging and fertilizing the soil, clearing out any weeds or debris that may have accumulated over the winter, and planting annuals that will hold up through the harsh conditions of early spring weather—like cold winters or drought.
Here are some tips to make sure your annuals get off to a good start in the year’s first months:
By following these tips and getting your garden ready for spring, you’ll have the best chance of success. And once you get into a routine with these steps, you’ll know how to prepare for any season!