By: Samantha Wright
Spring has sprung and it is time for a good spring cleaning. As we walk around the garden, we notice last year has taken its toll on the beds in one way or another. Before we start, note things that may need more attention in the future.
Spring clean-up starts with cleaning out the unwanted remainder of past seasons. Pulling weeds, removing leaves, and cutting back remaining grasses or perennials. Believe it or not there are weeds that stuck around through the cold weather and are ready to drop their seeds. We have summer and winter weeds; they all leave seeds in the soil before they die. A little further into our clean-up we take preventive action to help decrease the chances of these weeds reappearing.
Our next step will be removing some of the old mulch. Sure, it would be easier to just leave it and throw the fresh mulch on top but there are a few reasons for the extra effort. First reason being aesthetics, mulch changes color over time and the original much may have been a different type or color. By removing the old mulch, we will achieve that nice uniform color and texture throughout the bed. When mulch is laid too thick it can cause root rot, nutrient starvation, and eventually plant death.
Now, to get your garden bed back into shape, a little edging always does the trick! Edging is creating a clean line to define the garden bed. It looks amazing when these crisp, clean lines are created and really makes a bed stand out.
The garden bed is now prepared for our defender of the season. A pre-emergent herbicide. This product is used to prevent germinated weed seedlings from becoming established. A pre-emergent does not kill existing weeds, we use it to keep weeds under control, and it works. Imagine it as an invisible blanket, a seed will germinate and begin to sprout. When the seedling hits that blanket (pre-emergent) the weed cannot continue growing. This gives us a slight upper hand on weeds through the coming season.
We have made it to our last step in our spring clean-up, mulching! Laying new mulch down is not only satisfying to look when it has all done but it is doing a lot to benefit us. Along with our pre-emergent mulch is another preventive measure against weeds. With a better water retention than soil alone, mulch reduces time spent watering. Going through the changing seasons and temperatures the mulch that has been laid down will help regulate soil temps. for the pants. Keeping soil cooler in warmer months and warmer in cooler months.
There is nothing better than seeing a new clean edge and a fresh bed of mulch. Knowing it will soon be filled with color and life again. Spring clean-up is no small task. It is worth doing it better and doing it right.