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Gardening is a key springtime pursuit. But, there are some basic questions to ask when you’re preparing a garden for the first time, especially as spring approaches.

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With the winter still looming, you might think it’s strange to consider spring gardening. However, especially if you aren’t exactly a green thumb, you might not know that this crucial period makes all the difference come later in the year. The first steps to a thriving, lush garden or lawn starts with knowing what to do. Here are a few questions so you can get a head start.

1. “When should I start growing?”

Because the winter weather is unpredictable, planting outdoors is a gamble. If you plant too early, you risk losing your plants, vegetables, and monetary investment to frost. To offset this risk, simply start your projects indoors. Many home improvement stores sell a variety of seeds in mid-to-late January and have potted plants available year-round.

Plus, if you buy early, stores offer discounts or clearances on pots and potting soil. If you simply must plant outside, use frost cloth to prevent the untimely demise of your garden.

2. “What should I do about my bushes and shrubs?”

Bushes, shrubs, and plants that returns each year, despite looking dead in the winter, are known as perennials and are very important to any garden or landscape. To prepare for their return, pruning is essential.

For plants that lose their leaves, it’s a great time to trim them without getting ripped up by the leaves and branches in the winter. Not only will it make them look more appealing, but this also jumpstarts their growth. If you need inspiration, just watch “Edward Scissorhands” a few times.

3. “Does my lawn need special treatment?”

The lawn is another perennial that benefits from early care. You can thicken your lawn if it’s a bit bare by overseeding (putting grass seed over the existing lawn) with a fast-spreading grass such as perennial rye or Kentucky bluegrass.

Also, think about applying a fertilizer with crabgrass preventer. Crabgrass is an invasive weed that has to be pulled out by hand once it sprouts, so preventing it is a must. If you follow these two simple tasks, you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood.

4. “Do I need to prepare any equipment?”

It’s always important to check if all your gardening equipment works before the start of spring. Hedge trimmers, chainsaws, and blowers fall into disrepair from disuse during the winter. The lawn mower especially needs to be checked to make sure it’s ready for spring. Many repair shops even have deals since business is slower in the winter. The sooner you do it, the sooner you’ll be prepared for the growing season.

5. “Am I forgetting anything?”

The only thing you’re possibly forgetting by now is to have fun! Gardening is a relaxing and family-oriented activity that provides beauty and food to your home. Don’t let it stress you out. Instead, start now and enjoy the fruits of your labor later in the year.

By following the answers to these questions, you’re sure to have a bountiful garden, a lush lawn, and beautiful landscaping. You’ll love it and your plants will thank you.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.