Oh my goodness! It’s finally SPRING! The smell of wet soil, melting snow, wet leaves coming back to the surface. Not just the smells, how about the sounds? The dogs are getting outside, the birds are getting active, even the neighbor kiddos are out and about more. What does all this mean??? It’s time to get our soil ready for planting time! Here are a few things that I do to get my soil ready for warmer weather.
It might not be quite the time to put the seeds in the ground yet, at least not here in Minnesota, but it is time to start prepping the ground, for the seeds or the plants if you prefer to put in starters. Let’s get right to it and talk about soil preparation.
First, once the ground is feeling soft (and we’ve had at least a week of 50-degree temps), it’s time to start cleaning up any old rubbish that you did not get pulled out or cleaned up last fall. If you’re like me, my grandpa’s day lilies just didn’t get cut down last October, so guess what I did today? Yep, I trimmed them back to the soil or just above it rather, and I gently raked out the soil around them to loosen and even it out. This is a good practice for anything that you still need to clean up.
Secondly, clean up your mulch and rocks. Get the leaves, twigs, and anything else cleaned out and picked up. Rocks around shrubs, plants, or trees, need to be pulled back to give those areas room to breathe. As the snow and harsh winter hits our land scape many times the rocks and mulch chips wind up in our grass and back at the roots of our shrubbery, get them cleaned up and moved back into place. Pull out old weeds, it’s important to get those old weeds, or spring weeds “weeded” out.
Now, it’s time for some nutrients: COMPOST is one of my favorites for sandy soil and clay soil. Break up the clay with a tiller then gently rake, with your fingers or a garden rake, garden compost into the base of your perennials and your garden planting areas-once the soils is soft enough. For my shrubs and trees, I like to use tree stakes. Jobe’s Tree Shrubs Fertilizer spikes are my “go tos”. Follow the directions on the package, these are GREAT for getting fertilizer into the spring grounds around your trees and shrubbery. Just like the soil in your gardening areas, you need to make sure the ground is soft enough to pound the stake into the ground around your trees/shrubs. In the spring, the trees and shrubs are starving for nutrients. Make sure every spring they get good nutrition and vitamins whether you are using spikes or some other type of fertilizer.
Make sure you pick up any stones or other debris that has landed itself in your planting areas so in a couple weeks you can start planting.
Now, you’ve got that all done, it’s time to head to your favorite Nursery and start dreaming about what you want to plant in these soil prepped areas. Hope this was helpful and Happy SPRING!
By Georgia Edgington