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Grow Your Own Future

Gardening chores for early spring!
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It is the last chance to get planning on what is going to happen in your garden or landscape this growing season – especially if you are going to be making any radical changes to your space. If you like to start your own seeds, you may have already ordered them or perhaps already are watching the magic of tiny little seeds becoming plants that will grace our gardens when it gets warmer. 

If you are ready to get gardening, then it might be time to ease into the gardening chores. Try not to overdo it all at once as gardening muscles have been resting for the long, cold winter. If you have not kept up your personal physical fitness since fall, then do yourself a favour and work into gardening slowly. Make use of those lovely mornings and evenings going for a brisk walk followed up by some simple stretching exercises...using of course those same muscle groups you will use all summer long in the garden.

As the snow recedes and the soil dries, it is a great time to clean up the borders. Take away any dead plant parts, dig out any offending dandelions that seem to be already so green but take some time to ponder what is coming up. I find that each spring I get a few surprises. Things seem to be sprouting in places where you can’t quite remember planting something! I guess that is what we call a “spring bonus”!

It is also a good time to tidy up the garden shed or garage. The temperatures are warm enough that it is not an ordeal to be outside for longer periods of time. Take a look at your tools, clean them up, sharpen them and get rid of what you do not use. The expression spring clean-up is generally meant to be for your garden – but for me – it is for every part of my property! It is such a great feeling to dispose of clutter! 

If you still have not done your spring pruning – you still have a little bit of time. Try not to miss this chore as to prune later in the year is not ideal for most of our woodies. The rapid growth of spring will ensure that any wounds caused by pruning will heal over quickly thus reducing any chance of disease transfer. Remember that it is not a good idea to do catch up pruning but instead to do a little bit each year. Do not remove more than one third of the canopy in any given year. 


If you have any trees or shrubs that need moving, then as long as the soil is not too wet but is fully thawed then this is a good time to do this rather big chore. The buds have not yet burst so moving anything at this time will be the least risky time of all. Better yet, anything you move will have the entire growing season to get reestablished.

Rake your lawn areas if they are dry enough. It is amazing how this small chore really spruces up the landscape. It seems that the grass areas turn green overnight once they have some of that thatch removed. It is a bit early to fertilize with conventional inorganic fertilizers as that will encourage fast green growth that is susceptible to late spring frosts but feel free to use a slow release fertilizer.

Pay close attention to any seedlings you have growing inside. If you have started your seeds without additional lights and have them sitting on a windowsill you will likely have noticed them reaching for that sun. Try to give them all the light possible as if you find them reaching for light the seedlings will be less strong and more susceptible to stresses like disease.  
Happy Spring!

Hanbidge is the Lead Horticulturist with Orchid Horticulture. Find us at; by email at; on Facebook @orchidhort and on Instagram at #orchidhort. Tune into GROW Live on our Facebook page or check out the Youtube channel GROW.


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