Get Your Garden and Trees Ready for Spring  

 By Mary Jo Viero 

As winter slowly relinquishes its grip, gardeners across the community are eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring. 

However, preparing your garden for the upcoming season requires careful planning and attention to detail. From pruning to soil preparation, selecting the right plants, and caring for trees, here are some essential tips from our local experts to ensure success.  

For your trees and shrubs, Davey Tree Experts recommend following a tree checklist. 

  1. Inspect trees for signs of damage or disease, dead branches or pest infestations.
  2. Prune: Before new growth emerges, it is crucial to prune trees and shrubs to promote healthy development and maintain their shape. Use clean, sharp tools to remove any dead or damaged branches.
  3. Mulch is a great addition, not only for a manicured appearance, but also to suppress weeds, maintain soil temperatures, retain moisture, and even add organic matter to your soil and plant roots. When adding mulch, remember to add a 3- to 4-inch layer and provide a buffer between mulch and tree trunks so they don’t suffocate them or cause disease. Do not put mulch in a volcano formation.
  4. Water: Deep watering is essential, especially for newly planted trees, to encourage strong root development.
  5. Soil Preparation: Preparing your soil is fundamental to a thriving garden. Begin by removing any winter debris or weeds that accumulated over the winter months. Then amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or aged manure to improve its structure. Test the soil pH and adjust if necessary to create an optimal growing environment. 
  1. Fertilize: All your plants can lose nutrients throughout the year. And when they aren’t growing in the rich soil of the forest floor that is constantly full of decaying leaf matter and other nutrient-rich organic matter, they can suffer without the addition of supplemental nutrition. A slow-release fertilizer application can replace those nutrients and improve your tree’s vitality to help it thrive during the growing season.

What can I plant now? 

Scot Steuber, from Stueber Florist and Greenhouse, 2654 West 111th Street, warns it’s too early to plant most annuals, but cold hardy, early season crops such as pansies, stock and snapdragons seem to work best in containers early on, simply because they can be brought indoors or covered easily to protect them if temperatures drop below 32 degrees. While hardy annuals can withstand and even thrive in cooler temperatures, they also continue to bloom into the early summer season. Pansies, if left in your garden during the hot summer months, will also typically rebloom when the cooler fall days arrive.  

Once the warm weather is more consistent, Steuber’s will be ready with other beautiful annuals that are grown right in their own greenhouses. Steuber’s offers plenty of options to beautify your gardens, such as several varieties of geraniums, petunias, begonias, marigolds and salvia. 

All are welcome to come in and observe the progress of all our plants. It’s the perfect time to get ideas and plan this year’s garden! 




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