Spring is in the air, the temperatures are slowly rising, the early birds are returning and it’s time to think about getting outside. In this installment of our series of Getting Ready for Spring articles, we look at what you can do in the yard to get ready for a new growing season.
The first step is to do a little spring cleaning in your yard. Walk around and pick up any sticks or debris that may have gathered over the winter months. Rake up leaves, especially in areas where winter winds have blown them. A layer of leaves will inhibit the growth of plants and grass.
While you’re picking up sticks and raking leaves, remember to inspect your perennials for signs of slugs, snails, or aphids. If you find any, treat them right away. While you can always head down to the local hardware store to get chemical treatments, you might not want to introduce poisons to your garden if you have pets or small children.
Here are some links to recipes for natural ways to deter pests and fertilize your plants without the use of chemicals.
- As Lifehacker explains, spreading spent coffee grounds throughout the garden will deter slugs while giving the soil an extra kick of nitrogen.
- Try compost tea instead of commercial fertilizers.
- Garlic spray is an economical, non-toxic pesticide.
- Mix up this citrus spray to control aphids naturally and effectively.
- Avoid using neonictinoid pesticides that can harm pollinators like honey bees by trying this hot pepper bug spray.
Spring yard cleaning is also the perfect time to inspect your fences, trellises, and raised beds. It’s easier to see and repair missing or damaged boards or posts before the bushes and trees leaf out.
And fences aren’t the only thing that might need repair this spring. Check your gardening tools to make sure they’re up to the task of another season of garden work. Clean and sharpen tools with edges, such as shovels, hoes, trowels, and clippers. Properly maintained tools will make the work easier, and your back will thank you!