Do you hear that?
It’s the first breathy sigh of your spring garden, waking up from its winter’s nap. Longer days, warmer temperatures and dreams of lazy afternoons spent lounging among the flowers is enough to get any homeowner motivated to get their garden ready for the coming months.
If you long to get outside and get your hands dirty in preparation for spring in Los Angeles, here are some great ideas to get you started.
Trim and tidy
The end of winter is an excellent time to prune and cut back the plants, bushes and trees in your garden before they get new spring growth. However, it’s a good idea to wait until any danger of frost has passed before wielding those pruning shears, as cutting back during a freezing spell can mean doom for some plants. Remove any annuals from the previous season and compost them.
While most homeowners don’t love the idea of spending an afternoon pulling weeds, it goes a long way right now – not only does it reduce the number that are propagating in your garden, but it also makes your yard look clean and tidy. Weeds are generally easier to remove at this time of year, as they have shallow roots that can easily be pulled from moist soil. Try to get as many as you can while they’re still small – it’ll save unnecessary back strain down the line.
Divide and conquer
Some varieties of perennial plants do well when they are divided and transplanted. It’s also an easy and inexpensive way to add new plants to your landscape. Dig up perennials to be divided just as they are starting to grow, and transplant into new spots that have been amended with compost to give the divisions the best possible start.
All your plants and flowers enjoy a healthy dose of fertilizer in the spring as they begin to grow. If you have compost, add a layer of it to existing beds to give the soil a boost, or apply organic or synthetic fertilizer as new growth appears.
Mulch does wonderful things for your garden. It acts as a barrier to keep weeds from sprouting, it helps soil retain moisture and it gives the garden a polished look. As mulch starts to break down it also adds beneficial nutrients to the soil. So go ahead and give your garden beds a nice thick blanket of mulch – just be sure to keep it away from the trunks of trees and stems of tender plants.
Any garden can be made more magical with the addition of bird feeders and baths that attract local and migratory birds. If you have any in your garden, now is the time to clean them thoroughly to avoid build-up of bacteria or mold.
Get the lawn ready
If you have grass, take time to give it a good raking to remove any dead growth and debris that has accumulated over the winter. This allows air and light to penetrate the soil, stimulating all that glorious new green growth for spring.
If the promise of spring has you yearning to get outside, go ahead and give in to the urge. Taking a little time now to get your yard ready for the coming warm weather can be beneficial to your garden – and to you!
Brought to you by Jerry & Rachel Hsieh