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Monica's Weekly Gardening Tips: Early Spring Gardening Tasks Part II

  • When the soil in your garden beds finally dries out a bit, top dress the area with organic matter in preparation for planting. Try not to dig into established beds because you will harm the complex, existing soil ecosystem. Nutrients added from the top will work their way down into the soil.

  • Existing perennial beds can be cleared of old plant debris and mulched to prevent weed growth. Mulch should be applied about 2” deep around, but not over the sprouting root mass of each plant. You should also divide perennials when the emerging shoots are only 2 to 4 inches tall.

  • Prepare new planting beds by spreading a 6-inch deep layer of organic matter and work in deeply. Plants growing in deep, rich soil are less likely to suffer from summer drought

  • This is also a good time to thin the dead foliage on ornamental grasses and ferns. Once new growth begins, this is more difficult to do without damaging the plant. New growth will quickly replace the removed foliage.

  • Transplant existing shrubs to your desired new location before they begin to leaf out. Soil conditions in early spring are favorable to transplants because the soil is more consistently moist. This helps the shrub’s roots to expand and reach out for more nutrients.

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