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Getting the Garden Ready for Spring

April 14, 2020
Written by Aaron

This is the year—the year you cross off all the tasks on your spring to-do list! A little bit of yard work now pays off in the long run. You'll feel more organized and have healthier plants, and you'll be better prepared for the following year.

Review Your Tools and Accessories

Before we get into the heart of the gardening season, now is the time to look over your storage shed to make sure you have everything you need for a successful season. To prevent the spread of disease between plants, clean pots and containers you may use, as well as any tools. You also may need to sharpen and oil some old standbys, like pruning shears, loppers, and trimmers. If, after doing your clean up, you realize you need any tools or accessories, we're now offering curbside pickup at our garden centre.

Clean Up The Yard

Removing any fallen branches is especially important to reduce any hazards now that the kids are spending more time playing outside. Prune shrubs and trees that bloom in spring, like lilacs, right after flowering, and remove any damaged, dead, or diseased branches.

Though perennials, like grasses and woody herbs, provide food and shelter for birds during the winter, they can make your yard look a little scruffy during the spring. Cut back these perennials to encourage fresh growth and remove last year's annuals to make room for new ones this year.

Work the Land

Pick up a handful of soil, shape into a ball, and squeeze it. If water comes out, the soil is too wet, and you should wait a bit longer. However, if the ball crumbles, then the soil is ready to be worked. Remove any fresh mulch or leaf litter, but leave whatever has composted to mix into the soil. Loosen up and mix the soil by turning it over, using a tiller or a spade. Depending on the soil in your garden, you may also have to add amendments, like fertilizer.

Take inventory of the groundcover in your yard. Mulch and rock seem to disappear every year — groundcover should be about two to three inches thick, so replenish accordingly.

Plan Ahead

Take note in a garden journal of what you've completed already, like all of the steps above, plus any seedlings you started or bulbs you planted. A garden journal is a great help, not only for this season but also for years to come, since you can keep track of what worked and what didn't each year. Write down what you'll plant, where you'll plant it, and when. The majority of garden vegetables can be planted through mid-May here in Simcoe, after any risk of frost has passed. Now is also the right time to take note of any open spots in your yard that you can fill in by dividing fall-blooming perennials, like hosta and purple coneflower. Dividing perennials helps keep the plants healthy, plus it gives you more plant material to work with!

Odds and Ends

Clear out the gutters, turn over the compost, clean out bird feeders, and repair anything that needs it, like fences and lawnmowers. Locate and put up stakes and trellises for any plants that might need them, like tomatoes and peonies. Now is also a great time to tend to your decks and hardscapes so that you have a place to enjoy your garden from when it starts blooming!


Though you could make a day of prepping your garden this spring, to make it more manageable, break up your days at home by doing tasks between conference calls. Follow this checklist, and in no time, you'll be seeing the results of your hard work—evidenced by your thriving garden!

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