As the days are getting longer, and the temperatures are getting warmer; it is time to start thinking about preparing our gardens for spring! Keeper’s Ministry spoke to Susie Williams, an experienced gardener, to find out what we can be doing now, to insure a beautiful garden in the next few months.
The following is an interview with Susie:
How can we begin to prepare our gardens for spring?
Right now you should be cleaning weeds and leaves out of your flower beds. Fertilize your plants and then apply mulch. Cut back ornamental grasses to around 8 to 12 inches and prune roses. Divide and replant summer and fall blooming perennials. If there is any cold damage to the foliage of your plants, remove that now. If there are some plants that are not doing well in their present location, don’t be afraid to move them to a sunnier or less sunny place. Now is a great time to do this. My husband tells me that I move plants around in my garden like most people rearrange their living room furniture!
Gardeners love to share their plants. Find a friend that gardens and ask her if she will share with you when she divides her perennials and grasses. Sow seeds of colorful annuals and perennials.
What if you are short on space for your garden?
Go with the plants that you love in the colors you love. Pick two or three colors of flowers and repeat the colors in your borders. Planting a backbone of evergreen shrubs in your beds will provide color in the winter and a good background for the more colorful deciduous plants and flowers in the summer.
To be successful in growing a beautiful garden, you have to have good soil. For several years, I have used composted cotton seed burrs as mulch. This breaks down by the next spring, so you will have to mulch with the cotton seed burrs every spring. I now have dark, rich soil to plant in, with a host of earthworms to enrich the soil. You can also use a combination of peat moss, composted cotton burrs, and dried manure, or get a garden ready mix from a local company and till it into your soil.
Read the next post in this series when Susie gives tips on flowers, shrubs and trees that are grown most easily in our region and the spiritual side of gardening.
Susie Williams has been married to her husband, Joe, for 38 years. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. Susie loves the creative process of gardening, and inherited her green thumb from her grandmother.
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