Prepping Your Garden

Here's a list of helpful chores to jumpstart your plants for beautiful blooming this season. Clean and Sharpen Tools: If you didn't do this during the winter, do it now. Clean, sharpened, and dry tools will prevent you from doing extra work. Three-sided bevel files work well for sharpening, as does steel wool (for smoothing). Deadheading: Get rid of spent flowers from bulbs, but be sure to leave the rest of the plant for now. Pruning: Prune early-blooming shrubs such as viburnum and forsythia as soon as their blooms have passed. Prepare Soil: Remember to fertilize and mulch your borders and beds. You should also consider fertilizing any fruit trees. Get rid of winter debris in your beds and remove heavy winter mulch if you applied it last season. Before you plant, break down soil at a level surface and cover the soil (with black plastic sheeting or similar) to warm the soil before planting. Lawn Care: This is an ideal time to start a new lawn from seed. If you already have a lawn, start mowing now, but don't cut the grass too short for the first couple of times. Have Fun!: Browse through seed and gardening catalogs to figure out what you want in this year's garden. For a sunny flower plot, you might try combining the Orange Sun Coleus, Million Bells Terra Cotta Yellow, and Red Verbena flowering plants (visit for more ideas). Or you can turn your regular flower bed into a summer fruit and vegetable bed. Some of the most successful fruits, vegetables, and herbs for beginners include strawberries, carrots, peppers, zucchini, basil, and rosemary.
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