After a LONG hard winter I finally was able to get out into the garden this past weekend. Boy, it felt good! I usually start my spring garden cleanup and feeding about March 1. Not this year.

What should you be doing now in the garden? Let me tell you what I do. First I get out the spring rakes (spring as in flexible). I use a common 22” size for larger areas and a 6” size for smaller more delicate work. I want to remove all leaves and debris while scratching the soil. I want my granular fertilizer to make contact with the soil and stay where I put it. Next I get out my pruning shear, hedge shear and pruning saw. I remove any dead wood and do minor pruning since most of the heavy pruning was done in the late fall.

Then it’s time to give the plants their breakfast. After this winter they really need something to get them felling happy again. My first feeding of the year is always with Milorganite and Ironite. The slow release feeding of Milorganite and the trace elements of the Ironite get the plants off to a great start without forcing growth so I don’t have to worry about “pushing” growth too early in the season. This year I watered them in with Microbe Life Foliar Spray & Root Drench. The Mycorrhizal Fungi and essential elements will help the other products work even better. I’ll be very happy if it does ½ as good in the garden as it did for my houseplants this winter.

For all you with lawns it’s time to get out the spring rake and clean up there too. After you remove all the fallen leaves and other debris you can start your 4-Step program, apply a crabgrass preventer or apply a good lawn food. It’s also time to use grass seed if you have some bare spots or thin areas. Major lawn renovation is better done in the fall if possible. You should also check the pH of your lawn and apply lime if needed.

Now is also the time for the largest selection of plants. Both small additions or major landscape jobs can be done now before the heat comes.

I hope I have inspired you to get out into the garden and get your early spring chores done so you can enjoy your garden to the fullest this summer.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or join my colleague Felix Cutrone, Store Manager of Hardgoods, for the Seminar ‘Best Lawn on the Block” on April 26th at 10 am here at the nursery.

Bob Friedl
Senior Buyer, Horticultural Products