Throughout the winter all you see is a drab landscaping that has no life to it unless you live in the southern states. If you do not live where it is warm all year and have a perennial flower garden, you need to help it wake up so the flowers can grow well for you this year. Below are some tips on how you can get started doing this.
Check the Soil Condition
The first thing you should do is check the soil condition. Grab a handful and squeeze it in your hand. If it forms a ball, then your soil is too wet from all the snow. If you walk around in the garden now it will compact the soil, which makes it difficult for water and fertilizer to seep down into the roots. After a few weeks of sun, the soil should dry out. To determine this, grab a handful and squeeze--the soil should crumble out of your hand.
Once the soil is ready, remove any protection you hopefully provided the flowers for the winter, such as mulch, leaves, straw, etc. Only do this, however, when it is past the freeze date for your area. If you happen to get some cold weather after you remove the protection, cover the perennials back up again until the weather warms back up.
Cut Back Perennials
If there are some perennials that you did not cut back in the fall, now is the time to do it. Before you cut, however, make sure there is some type of new growth, such as a few green leaves. If so, cut them back to a few inches from the base of the soil. If you planted ornamental grasses in your garden, go ahead and cut them back now even if there is no new growth.
If you had annuals in the garden, now is the time to pull them out if you haven't done that already.
Look over the garden for any weeds and remove them, making sure you get the roots. Now is the best time to remove these because your soil is more moist during the early spring. They make special tools that are made to remove weeds and their roots to make it easier for you. Do not use any type of weed killer as it may kill your flowers. Removing them by hand will take time but it is the most effective way.
Once your flower bed is cleaned out and weed free, you should provide your flowers with fertilizer to help give them a good start for the growing season. What and how much you use depends on the type of flowers you have. A garden center can help you with this.
When I was young, I loved helping my mother in the garden. Our yard was filled with plants and flowers that she kept in immaculate condition. Once I was an adult and bought my first home, I learned that there was much more to landscaping a yard than I ever imagined! After a little trial and error planting a few flowers in my yard that died quickly, I realized the technology that is available to aspiring gardeners makes trial and error a thing of the past. After I found out what my "hardiness zone" was, I realized I was planting flowers made for much cooler climates, and I played around with software that let me design my yard very easily! I learned a lot throughout the experience, so I thought I would share my tips with everyone who needs them. Come back often to check out my new tips!