BCLS Landscape Services of Central Virginia
With spring in the air in Central VA, your green thumb might be ready to start working in the dirt. But it may not be a good idea to start digging without a plan. Just because flowers and vegetable plants are available at nurseries doesn’t mean you can plant them all at any time. In addition, some plants require certain preparations so they can thrive when it comes time to put them in the soil.
Weather…Knowing when your location typically experiences its last spring frost can help guide your planting schedule. Even in Central Virginia a cold snap or a few cold nights are not out of the question in the first few weeks of April. Planting warm season crops, such as peppers and tomatoes, before the last frost can result in plants that can die and early death. On the other hand, cool season crops, such as lettuce and cabbage, can be planted a few weeks before the last frost and will still flourish even with a few cold nights.
Yard & Garden Preparation…Once the cold is on its way out, there are a few things you can do to help prepare your yard for a spring garden. First, you have to do an initial yard clean-up. yard. This includes raking and clearing leaves and other debris from your soil, as they can prevent flowers from growing. Then, remove dead limbs from plants and bushes and prune trees before they start blooming. As the weather warms, you may start seeing weeds growing into your planting beds and garden. Start pulling weeds as soon as you notice them to prevent them from flowering and reproducing. After you have pulled the visible weeds a layer of mulch down to prevent summer growth in your beds and some compost in your garden.
Soil Preparation…When planting a garden, you must also prepare your soil by loosening it and turning it over with a shovel or digging fork. This creates a better home for your plants, as it warms up the dirt and makes it easier for roots to dig into the soil. It also allows for the mixing of your soil and the natural nutrients that have accumulated during the weather.
After cultivating the soil, it may be necessary to add additional nutrients to keep your plants growing long-term. This can be done by mixing in fertilizer that includes nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. If you would like to use something more ‘natural’, a fertilizer alternative such as a compost which adds nutrient-rich organic matter to the soil, making it better at holding water and feeding plants.
Knowing when to start planting a garden and how to prepare your soil are the first steps to a beautiful yard. Remember these tips this spring to help ensure your garden will thrive in the months ahead.
Looking for more information about how to maintain or beautify your homes landscape, contact us at www.BCLSLandscape.com for a no-obligation consultation.