Spring flowers and perennials are going to start sprouting up before we know it. But there are things you can do now to begin getting ready to make sure your landscape is prepped and ready for beautiful spring flowers.
You may want to get out and begin gardening as soon as warmer weather begins but resist the urge! Soil that is too wet can cause compaction making it harder for plant roots to grow. Before too many plants begin their spring growth you will want to begin a clean up. Remove the dead plants from the winter and other decaying matter. Leaving the decaying matter can harbor pests and diseases that can ruin your garden and landscape.
Shasta daisy, asters, coneflowers, and tickseed have green rosettes at ground level that will need to be exposed in order to grow in the spring. Other perennials such as the daylily, geranium, bee balm and others can be cut back almost to the ground and will regrow from there.
Once cutting back and deadheading has been done the next step would be to begin weeding. This is the best time to have them all pulled out before they become even bigger and overgrown. Be mindful that you may come across some of your perennials so be sure to not pull them out. If you come across a seedling that you do want to keep you should wait to transplant it until it becomes a little bigger and the weather gets a little warmer.
Fertilizing would be the next step to take as well as mulching. Inorganic fertilizer shouldn’t need to done every year. As long as compost has been consistent but older beds might need the boost. Fertilizers with fewer nutrients such as organic fertilizers release nutrients more slowly and can be added each year. Start slowly with the fertilizer – it’s better to apply too little. Adding too much fertilizer could result in lush leaves but no flowers. It also adds to runoff and end up in ground or surface water.
When mulching the beds be careful to mulch carefully. A thickness of 2-3″ is enough for open areas being careful to not cover the base of perennials. Flowers such as a peony will never flower if there crown- or base- is covered. Shallow rooted plants such as certain bellflowers and yarrow can be killed by over-mulching.
When it comes to dividing or moving it’s best to wait until mid to late spring. Some perennials may not need to be moved unless they had few blooms the past season. If they are being moved make sure they are 2-4″ tall before doing so. Poppies, bearded Iris, Siberian iris, and true lilies (not day lilies) are best divided after they bloom and peonies should wait to be divided until the fall.
Depending on the weather in your area once your garden is prepped it would be a good time to have your sprinkler system turned on. Hiring a professional to do so means you will have someone familiar with the needs of certain plants and landscapes as well as trained in sprinkler systems and smart irrigation.
Check out this article for tips on watering your lawn: https://gardenstateirrigation.com/importance-watering-lawn-properly/