Hello Spring enthusiasts!

Guess what? It’s time to rip out the dreary decay of winter and revitalize those flower beds. Spring is all about a fresh start and, ready or not, the growing season has begun.

Let’s get a jump on the best practices to enhance your lawn by following the steps here to refresh those flower beds.

What is the overall impression your bed portrays as of now? What would you like it to say? Beds can start to look rundown after a long, hard Winter. Snow, wind, and bitter temperatures will start to take a toll on foliage and mulch in your flower beds.

The first step is to remove any extra. Pull out all unwanted growth, including weeds, and plants that have wilted, become dormant, or just plain died. Create new space to work with by removing old, tired leftovers.

Trim up bushes and trees that have grown over their regimented space. The first trim of the year will set the shape of your bushes and trees for the upcoming Spring growth season.

Now, lets focus on your soil. It is always a good idea to set yourself up for success from the start. Plus, it’s a lot easier to maintain your beds when starting with a solid preparation at the beginning.

Begin by raking out all debris including bush trimmings, excess mulch, leaves, anything cluttering the surface of your bed. Use a rototiller or garden hoe to cultivate by chopping the top layers of soil and stirring the ground up. This will allow moisture and air to penetrate the surface more easily to facilitate new growth. Be careful not to harm the root systems of existing foliage you wish to keep.

You may want to add compost at this point to reintroduce vital nutrients into the soil. Sprinkle a couple inches of compost on top of the soil and mix it in with the existing dirt. For best results, cultivate at least six inches into the ground. This will allow the root system of your flowers to establish a firm base for the growing season.

Establish a clear edge around the perimeter of your flower beds using an edging shovel or power edger. Creating a defined boarder will help contain mulch and will give your beds a crisp overall look.

Use a hard rake to even out the ground as much as possible. Redistribute soil into lower areas to level your growing space and give a uniform appearance. This also prevents water from collecting in certain areas causing root rot and erosion.

Apply a pre-emergent to the surface of your bed to eliminate new weed growth. When soil is cultivated, dormant weed seeds are brought to the surface causing new growth. Pre-emergent will stop these seeds from germinating and invading your precious flower patches.

Now time to plant! Add your annuals or perennials in a space conscientious layout taking into consideration amount of sun and full grown size of your plants. Some plants like more room than others. Check out the specific needs of each plant before placing permanently into the ground.

Pick your top layer. Choosing a top layer depends on what type of bed you are trying to establish. Some folks use rocks or pine straw which work for arid climate gardens or pine forrest beds, respectively, but we recommend mulch for most types of flower beds. Mulch retains water throughout the summer heat and promotes plant growth. It is an organic materials and will eventually break down releasing nutrients back into the soil. A layer of mulch acts as an insulator keeping the soil warm on a chilly Spring night or cool on a hot Summer day.

Mulch comes in a variety of colors including natural brown, dark brown, black, or red. Dyed mulch typically lasts longer and adds another dynamic to the look of your garden. Spread mulch evenly about 2 to 3 inches deep on the surface of your flower beds. Make sure to surround plant base with mulch carefully avoiding excess piling. Too much mulch on a plant base may cause rot and bug infestation, especially around tree trunks.

Now take a step back and admire all this hard work you have invested into your garden. After taking the initial steps for preparing a beautiful flower bed, regular maintenance will ensure a clean and organized look and will keep your plants healthy and prolific. Remember to water regularly and keep those weeds at bay.

And if this all sounds great in theory but you just need a little jump start, CSE Landscapes is always here help!