In these last few days of March, there are still alot of signs of winter left in the yard. Still hard soil, little grass and only buds on trees and plants. This is the time, however, to take stock of what your yard will need to brighten up for the warmer weather.
Even if the ground is still too hard to fertilize yet, it’ll be necessary to clean up the mess left behind by winter’s visit before your garden can begin to grow again. Survey your garden and remove the sticks, rocks and fallen leaves that cover your plants and bulbs. These materials make it harder for the rains that will come soon reach down to the roots of your plants, shrubs and trees. This rain is crucial to waking up your plants and giving them the shot of H2O they need to begin to bloom. Cleaning up your landscape also makes it easier for bulbs to reach out through the soil and makes it easier for you to assess what your garden will need come spring.
Once you can see what you’re working with, test the ph levels in your soil to see if you need to increase or decrease the acidity. If you haven’t had your soil professionally tested in three or four years, have it done.
Add an inch-deep layer of your composted materials, especially if you used tea, seaweed or fish remains in your pile. These materials can be as beneficial as commercial fertilizers for your garden, without the harmful chemical effects.
Take stock of the areas of your garden that need layers of mulch to cover bare spots. Covering your bulbs and plants lightly with a thin layer of mulch can help keep their roots warm in case of a late-season frost.
Keep in mind to check on your compost worms while you meander throughout the yard gauging your needs. Red wigglers may be hearty and make the best compost, but even they have time rousing for spring. Give them a little help by checking the pH levels and organic materials in your compost bin to be sure they’ve still got the environment and food they need tp make the rich compost your soon-to-sprout flowers will love.