Soon you will begin to see your outdoor plants like crocuses and daffodils peeking their heads above ground, if you haven’t already. Salt Lake City gardening enthusiasts know this is the signal to get the gloves, rake and pruners out of storage and use them to inaugurate spring gardening season. The experts at Millcreek Gardens have a few tips for the novice gardener who wants to get their garden plants into shape this spring.
Hopefully you left a nice, warm covering of leaves over your spring flowers over the winter to keep them protected from the cold and snow. Once they start to emerge, however, it’s time to uncover them. Consider getting a rake with a small head for this chore, or use a leaf blower. It allows you to gently and carefully remove last fall’s leaves from between your emerging plants without damaging or traumatizing them in any way.
It’s best for your lawn (and easier for you) if you use your mower with the blade at a high setting to mulch leaves in the fall rather than rake them up and dispose of them. As the leaves break down, they help fertilize your soil. When spring comes, there’s no need to vigorously rake up stray leaves on your lawn; just let them decompose naturally.
This chore will start to take more time as the season progresses, but the sooner you get started on it, the easier it is.
Remove all dead plants from last year, then move on to newly emerging weeds. Depending on the size of your beds and the types of garden plants you tend to favor at your Salt Lake City home, you may want to consider putting down black plastic to control weed growth in some areas.
When you’re doing spring pruning, it’s critical to remember not to prune any bushes or trees that bloom in the spring, such as azaleas or magnolias. Their buds have already formed, and anything you cut off now will just be a waste.
Generally speaking, it’s best to prune outdoor plants right after they have finished blooming. If you wait too late in the season, they will have begun the process of forming new buds and you will disturb it. Stick to pruning deadwood and nonflowering trees and shrubs in the spring.
If you’re thinking of adding any outdoor plants — or indoor plants — this year, come to Salt Lake City’s favorite plant shop: Millcreek Gardens. Our experts will show you around our garden nursery and help you pick the right plants for your home and garden. Stop by today!