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The start of spring is a great time to shake off those winter blues and get working in the garden

The majority of people tend to start working in the garden early summer. When the weather get’s warmer it starts with a trip to the local hardware shop for some bedding plants.  To really get the most out of your garden there is nothing better to shake off those winter blues by getting some garden work in a little earlier.

 

The start of spring is a great time to shake off those winter blues and get working in the garden. Starting to plant your seedlings, preparing soil, buying compost, deterring garden pests, planting new shrubs and plants are some garden tasks. Trimming, cutting, dead heading, thinning out, adding nutrients, and planting vegetables and herbs are a few other tasks a gardener performs each year.

 

Gardening can become a full time obsession which can become a year round activity. For everything to bloom and grow on schedule, your plants must be planted, pruned, fed, and cared for throughout the year. Professional landscapers don't just work in the good weather but are busy all year round, working to a gardening production schedule each season. If you need some professional advice our landscapers are willing to help, just contact them via www.onlinetradesmen.ie.

Now that spring is here, here are some common tips to get you started. What better way than to start  growing your seedlings.

Spring is the perfect time to start seedlings. Gardeners can avail of seed starting kits available at most home improvements stores and online at www.handyhardware.ie. You can also develop homemade starter containers by cutting down toilet paper rolls or empty yogurt pots, stuffing the bottom with newspaper, and filling the top with soil. Whichever method you use, be sure to start the seeds midway through the spring months. If the seeds are hardy (check the package for details) you can plant them directly outdoors. Don't forget to provide some protection from birds, or the next time you check the seedlings they may not be there.

 

Other more delicate seedling need to be grown indoors. Before you get started with seed-sowing, it is important to find a good seed-starting mix. Although several are available on the market, there's a lot of variability among them. Avoid mixes that are heavy; instead, select a mix that is light and fluffy and has a small, very fine particle size.. Prepare the seed-starting mix by adding water to it until its texture feels like that of a wrung-out sponge.

Next, taking your seed containers poke some holes for drainage. Then using a pencil, you can make two furrows side by side in the soil, each about a 1/4-inch deep. You then pours the seeds from the packet into your hand.

 

Because some seeds like tomato seeds are so small and delicate, here is a trick to get them from your hand to the seed tray. Moisten the pointed end of a pencil, and the pointed end can now pick up the tomato seed quite easily. (You can also use a moist sponge in place of the pencil.) Places the seeds into the soil, about a 1/2-inch apart. Pinch the soil over the seeds, pat it down and water.

 

 

At this point, light is critical for seed germination and growth. Some seeds like a lot light. A sunny window in early spring should provide enough light for germination.

 

Unless you are tending to your garden regularly over the winter you may need to tend to some outside spring cleaning.

When weather permits, cut back ornamental grasses or flowering plants that were kept taller for winter garden colour and interest. It’s a great time of year to cut ornamental grasses down to at least 12 inches from the base.  This will give your shrubs plenty of time to gow back for the summer. It also tends to keep shrubs healthy as older, dead limbs   can be cut away.

Prune rose bushes, small shrubs, and any climbing vines. If you plan to add rose bushes in containers, keep an eye on the weather and sneak it in on a warm day. Summer blooming perennials can also be planted in early, but only if they are a good size. The only danger in planting too early outdoors is the frost.

Clean up your garden areas and dispose of any dead leaves. Depending on the size of your garden you can invest in a powered leaf blower. A leaf blower can be purchased relatively inexpensively online at your local hardware store.

Daffodils, snow drops and other bulb plants bloom from late winter to early spring. If you don't see signs of them in the garden now you soon will. Be sure to fertilize the bulbs as soon as leaves appear above the soil. Once bulb plants start to die, cut off the flowers, but wait six weeks before cutting leaves and stems. 

If your lawn is looking bare in patches it won't matter how spectacular your garden is, so be sure to fertilize and reseed any bare areas.

Finally, scrub down any decking or garden paths covered with algae that may have built up over the winter. Your garden decorations left out through the winter might also need some cleaning.

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