Garden Hack: Spring Garden Tasks Calendar

March 8, 2019

Now that the snow is gone, the rain is returning, and we’re getting a little bit more sun, your garden is waiting for you! Following these spring garden tasks will have your garden looking great for all the new blooms and foliage to come.

March

Pruning

  • Best time to prune most plants before they start to grow (wait until deep freezes have passed):
    • Focus on pruning out dead, damaged or diseased stems
    • Thin out dense shrubs to increase light and air flow and prevent disease
    • Make thinning cuts to reduce size if needed
  • Clean up perennials, ferns & grasses before new growth starts:
    • Cut back tattered evergreen plants like ferns, grasses and the foliage of hellebores and epimedium to the ground
    • Remove brown dead foliage on deciduous perennials and grasses

Lawn

  • Continue to remove leaves and debris from lawn
  • Tune up lawn mower in preparation for the season
  • Start mowing at height of 2.5”-3.5” when growth begins

Weeding

  • Dig out perennial weeds using a Hori Hori to get entire root (ex- dandelions and morning glory)
  • Remove annual weeds using a Hula Hoe to remove tops and prevent them from seeding (ex- shotweed)

Garden Beds

  • Good time to start planting as weather warms but rains continue
  • Apply a layer of mulch after weeding to keep weeds down and reduce watering in summer
    • Compost used as a mulch is great in perennial and annual beds and is a source of nutrients
    • Wood arborist chips are suitable for native buffer areas where you don’t work the soil and/or want to control weeds
  • Prepare beds for vegetable gardens by weeding and adding compost (peas can be planted soon)
    • Plant cool season vegetables (peas, greens…) when soil warms above 40 degrees
    • Start seeds indoors for other vegetable crops in March

April + May

Irrigation

  • Activate irrigation system and test heads to check for repair needs
    • An irrigation company can be hired to do a ‘spring turn on’ and test of your system
  • Bury any exposed drip tubing
  • Begin irrigating in June as weather warms or earlier if dry weather sets in
  • Focus on deep but infrequent watering to grow deep roots that tolerate drought better

Weeding

  • Dig out perennial weeds using a Hori Hori to get entire root (ex- dandelions and morning glory)
  • Remove annual weeds using a Hula Hoe to remove tops and prevent them from seeding (ex- shotweed)

Pruning

  • Prune spring blooming shrubs after flowering as needed
    • Focus on light, thinning cuts to increase air circulation and remove dead or diseased stems 

Lawn

  • Good time to do lawn maintenance:
    • Aerate compacted lawns or heavy use lawns
    • Top dress with ¼” of compost over entire lawn
    • Apply lime as directed on the package if needed to increase pH or sulphur if needed to decrease pH
    • Reseed thin or bare patches
    • Fertilize with a slow release organic fertilizer unless soil test indicates nitrogen is not needed

Garden Beds

  • Good time to start planting as weather warms but rains continue

Ready to get started but need some reminders along the way? If you sign up for our newsletter before the first day of Spring (March 20th), you’ll get access to our printable garden task calendar!

Also, don’t forget to set your clocks forward 1 hour this weekend!

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