Spring Cleaning For Your Flower Beds

Winters, especially like the one we just experienced, can cause lots of damage to your flower beds. Early in spring is the ideal time to get your beds ready for the planting and growing seasons. With some basic repairing and preparing, you’ll be well on your way to a successful, colorful season!

In this post we will discuss:

  • When To Get Started
  • Clean Up and Cutting Back
  • Replanting and Preparing For Planting
  • Weeding and Soil Turning/Tilling
  • Soil Amendments

When To Get Started

Flower beds ball of soil in handTo avoid compacting your soil, wait until it is no longer wet before walking on it.  Digging when the soil is too wet or too dry can ruin its structure and lead to poor aeration and drainage.  The old rule of thumb is to take a handful of soil and try to form it into a ball in your hand. If the soil sticks together, it is too wet to work with.  It’s fine to work the soil when it is moist, but not wet.

Clean Up and Cutting Back

Flower Beds cut backSince most people try to enjoy their flowers as late into the fall as possible, it isn’t uncommon for there to be dead tops and withered leaves from annual plants remaining in your beds. To give your flower beds a clean slate for fresh spring growth, pull up any old and dead or dying plants. This dead foliage as debris shouldn’t just be discarded.  It can be still serve as useful purpose as compost. Add it to your pile!

If you didn’t prune back your perennials last fall, it is safe to prune them down to ground level back once you start to see new growth at the base of the plants.

Replanting and Preparing For Planting

Flower beds edgingThroughout winter, the ground freezes and thaws over and over again. This upheaval can push some plants, roots and bulbs out of the ground. Early spring is the time to replant those perennials down in the soil so that they’ll be able to grow strong and be well rooted during this growing season.  Koopman Lumber carries a fantastic assortment of high quality perennials and annual flowers and plants to enhance any landscaped areas.

Aided by rainfall, grass grows quickly in spring. Part of preparing your flower beds is edging them to keep the bed and grass each in their respective areas.

Weeding and Soil Turning/Tilling

Early spring is all a good time to get a head start on weeds. In the spring, the weed’s roots are still shallow, making it easier to remove them. The more of them that you get out now will mean that much less time you will have to spend weeding throughout the growing season.  If you really want to cut back on weed maintenance, use a product like PREEN that stops weeds from sprouting.  It makes a great weed barrier.

The roots of your plants will extend deep in the ground to find nutrients and moisture. To thoroughly aerate your soil, dig it up and turn it to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Remove any rocks, sticks or roots.

Soil Amendments

Flower Beds compostIn order to get the best results from your soil, you may need to add some amendments to it. Clay soils compact easily and do not drain well, so it may need some loam or compost added to it. Sandy soils allow too much water to drain and will need to be fortified with compost or good top soil.

Flower Beds soil ph test kitYou can also use a soil pH test kit like the one that Koopman carries to determine the level of acidity in your soil. This will help you to determine how much lime you need to add to your soil. Each store also has a pH meter where we will test your soil for free.  Simply bring in a coffee can size sample from the area(s) in question, and we’ll be happy to test it that day.  You’ll also want to fertilize the soil based on the needs of the plants you’ve chosen.

JG11351 MAG-I-CALMagical from Jonathan Green is a great natural soil amendment especially for acidic soils.  It’s a fast acting lime substitute that has 10 times the benefit of traditional lime.  Most Koopman customers now use it on their lawns instead of lime – with great results.  But its also great for vegetable and flower beds too.

7903156Dig or till the garden again to mix in the amendments, as necessary. Finally, rake the soil smooth, evening out low and high spots.  Adding fresh mulch can help retain moisture and add some color.  If you’re adding mulch around the house, consider including a granular insect control as part of your project.  Koopmans has some great options in Bonide and Ortho.

However simple or extensive your flower bed, Koopman Lumber has the tools, plants, soils, mulches, controls and fertilizers to make it great. Plus we’ve got the expertise and famous personal service that makes your experience second to none.  For other great lawn and garden ideas – browse all our blogs under this category.

From seeds to soil, fertilizer to compost, garden hoses to shovels, Koopman Lumber has everything that you will need to nurture your flower beds into beautiful, healthy gardens. Stop by any of our conveniently located stores and get the advise and tools you will need to succeed, even if your thumb isn’t very green.

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