The first day of spring has arrived and we are edging closer to gardening season. In celebration of spring, we’ve rounded up 10 Spring Prep Tips to help you prepare for a successful, enjoyable spring and summer gardening season. Our perennials expert shares her simple must dos and some personal, helpful tips.

1. Begin by preparing your gardening tools. Fully disinfect tools with bleach or rubbing alcohol, sharpen where appropriate.

2. Hold off on raking and cutting back perennials until temperature reaches the 50s for a few consecutive days. Raking too early can disrupt the life cycle of beneficial insects.

3. When raking begins, be cautious of damaging the emerging foliage and buds of your plants. Use hands to pull leaves away from plants; it’s best to rake when the ground is dry. Try avoid stepping into the beds, it can compact the soil and damage smaller plants.

4. Pull and remove weeds early! Look for seedlings of perennials that may have self-sown, which you may want to keep. These are plants that may have dropped seeds in the garden before dying; they will germinate on their own.

5. Scatter compost and a bit of a manure throughout your gardens and apply lime to those plants that warrant it— keep manure away from German Iris, lilacs, and other real lime lovers.

6. Look for forsythia blooming and know it’s time to prune your roses and give a light feed with Rose-tone, a fertilizer for roses. This will also be the time to prune summer blooming shrubs including hydrangeas, weigela, beauty bush, and more.

7. Ready your garden containers by replacing soil mix. Begin by placing and planting cool weather annuals including lobularia, calendula, and pansies.

8. Divide all perennials that require it.

9. Begin some annual seeds indoors, approximately 6-8 weeks before the last frost.

10. Plan for your tender annuals, but do not begin to plant until mid to late May.

Check your last frost date HERE.

Happy Spring Prep!

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