Your initial instinct might be to grab a rake and start cleaning things up as soon as you notice crocuses and daffodils sprouting in your garden. However, that can be more detrimental to your garden’s inhabitants than beneficial.
According to Ashlea Hegedus-Viola, a gardener at the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, people are excited to get out and get their hands dirty because it’s been a long winter and also because we don’t have a long growing season. “They want to jump the gun, but you can’t rush the seasons”, she added.
Before preparing your garden, here are some advices from Doctors Nova Scotia.
Soil needs time to warm
Despite the fact that it may seem like spring outside, your garden has some catching up to do. Compared to the air, the earth takes longer to warm up. According to Hegedus-Viola, the top few inches of soil are warmer than those below.
Garden beds can get muddy and damp when things thaw, which is another reason to avoid them until conditions are dry. “Stomping around in the garden can trample the roots and compact the soil,” Hegedus-Viola continues. Plants require loose soil in order to effectively absorb nutrients and water.
Ease into it and start small
You might not realize how physically demanding gardening is, so returning to it after a hiatus at full speed could be taxing on your body. Even if you were active over the winter, Hegedus-Viola notes that when your back and arms haven’t been used, it can take some time to get going again. “Ease into things as much as possible.”
Giving your body and the garden time to acclimatize by organizing the space gradually will help. Hegedus-Viola advises beginning in a little portion of your garden where you have spring bulbs planted. In order to clean things up early, “you want to see them.”
If you can, put off working on the rest of your garden until the weather reaches 10° Celsius for at least a week. For the time being, resist the impulse to weed because it will be simple to confuse a plant for a weed because you’ve likely forgotten what you planted where.
Shelter insects and pollinators
By giving native bugs, insects, and pollinators more time to leave their winter homes, progressive cleanup can help them. Throughout the course of the season, moths, butterflies, bees, caterpillars, and beetles all emerge at various periods.
Gather loose piles of leaves, seed pods, and other plant detritus in your garden if you need to tidy up before the weather warms.
Leave around 30 cm of stalks on after cutting them; otherwise, insects like mason and carpenter bees may use them as refuge.
Help the birds
A variety of caterpillar species spend the winter on trees before falling to the ground in the spring. They are a vital food source for birds like warblers, sparrows, cardinals, and chickadees, especially in the spring when birds are raising their young. One caterpillar has the caloric equivalent of 280 aphids.
To provide caterpillars with a soft landing and a place to hide, think about placing garden beds around the bases of trees.
Keep in mind that delaying cleanup until spring implies that you left items in your fall garden. Over the winter, keep perennial plants, stalks, leaves, and seed pods in place. “Plants with seed heads, like echinacea, are great for birds,” claims Hegedus-Viola. Additionally, the plant benefits by leaving the stalks on the ground. Over the winter, it prevents decay in the plant’s crown.
More with this article at https://www.yourdoctors.ca/blog/healthy-living/spring-garden
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