Spring Cleaning: Gardens and Yards

The warm weather has finally arrived and now is the time to clear out all the debris and tidy up your yard and garden. One of the best parts of summer in the Pacific Northwest is all the beautiful plants and flowers that thrive here! 

Having a well kept garden is not only visually appealing but it’s also is a great way to increase your home value. 

Here are a few tips and tricks to make it look its best:

1) Clean It Up

Its time to clean out all of the debris that has settled into your yard and garden over the last few dark (and sometime dreary) months. Go ahead and remove all of the leaves, branches, seed pods, and any other tree debris. You will also want to get rid of any weeds that have popped up. Make sure to get all of the roots so they won’t grow back.  Mow the yard and trim, aerate or fertilize as needed.

2) Replenish and Revitalize Your Soil

Most often, the soil in your garden beds has been packed down with snow and large amounts of rain. In preparation for future planting you should gently turn the soil while mixing in a good quality organic soil amend or nutrient mix. By turning the soil you aerate the ground while breaking up any dense compacted soil.  If you’ve been composting, go ahead and mix in a good amount of compost.

Additional Tip: Many local garden stores can provide information on what the best nutrients are for the type of soil you have in your plot. This typically requires taking in a small sample, but call ahead for further information.

3) Trim the Old-Timers and Stick-Arounds

Your evergreen plants have made it through the winter, but some may need a trim so they will thrive during the summer months.  Be sure to investigate specific care instructions for your trees and bushes to be sure you don’t damage the plant.

4) Mulch

Mulch is used as a decorative element in and around your garden. It is also used as a moisture regulator and can inhibit the growth of weeds.

You will want to select a quality mulch blend that suits your practical needs and also achieves the aesthetic you want. To calculate the volume of mulch needed, multiply the square footage of the area by the depth of mulch desired. For instance, for a 2ft x 10ft strip of mulch 3 inches deep, you would need 2 x 10 x .25 (3 inches is 1/4 foot)= 4 cubic feet of mulch. When applying the mulch, the general rule of thumb is to keep the mulch layer a few inches away from plant stems to deter any root rot.

5) Plant Some Newbies

Now that your garden is summer-ready its time to get some new plants in the ground. Some great flowers to consider are tulips, snapdragons, and pansies. A few easy-to-grow vegetables include peas, arugula, and zucchini. If you have been working on indoor tomato starts, early June is the perfect time to transfer them outside.  Berries also thrive in Oregon.  If you’d like to avoid them spreading to other areas of the yard, you can plant berry plants in large containers!

Now pour yourself a hard-earned lemonade or cocktail, and enjoy your beautifully refreshed yard!

Check back for more seasonal updates and tips!

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