Summer is a few weeks from now, making it the perfect time to start preparing the gardens. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that we need to re-examine how we live, and what's better than to start growing our own food, right in our backyards. Despite all the negative and sad events going on around us, gardening can actually be comforting during these uncertain times. And now that we are forced to stay indoors, we can use the free time to improve our home gardens, appreciate homemade foods, and even relearn some forgotten skills like knitting. With summer knocking, here are some tips on how to prepare your garden amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inspect Your Garden
Winter can do a number on your garden. So, before anything else, it's best to inspect the entire garden to check for snow and ice damage on plants, rodent damage, rotten wood, and any damages to your hardscaping. Does the fence require repairing? Are there new animal burrows that indicate the presence of wild animals in your garden? Does the driveway require some retouch? You want to inspect the garden for anything that looks out of place, and note them down so that you can prioritize your list. This way, you’ll have a clear plan of what to do.
Inventory Your Tools
Before you embark on working on your garden, you want to ensure that your tools are clean, sharp, and in good working condition. Check your wheelbarrow for a flat tire, your hand trowel for bents or if it's blunt, your gloves for holes, etc. – and repair, clean, or replace them. The last thing you want is heading to your garden with bad tools. Not only will this make the work strenuous, but it’s also likely to cause injuries.
Prepare the Seeds
This is the perfect time to start preparing the seeds of common and favorite vegetables like spinach, lettuce, radishes, peas, beets, and chard, among others. Plant them in containers outdoors or in the ground – you’ll need raised beds and compost for this task. Remember, unless warm temperature has set in your region, you might want to hold off on planting warm-season vegetables that won't tolerate frosts.
Prune Your Plants
If you have flowers like roses, trim off any stems killed during winterovergrown canes, and crossing branches. This opens up space for new spring growth and also helps to improve air circulation. If you have woody perennials like Russian sage, caryopteris, and butterfly bushes, trim the top growth that usually gets killed in Winter. And while you're doing this, save pruning spring-flowering plants like forsythia, azaleas, viburnums until they bloom to avoid cutting off this year's flowers.
Weeds hamper the growth and development of your plants and flowers. So you want to pull them out while the ground is still soft from winter and also before they become deeply rooted.
Edge Your Garden Beds
Now that there’s plenty of time in your hands, why not edge your garden to give IT a tidy, clean, and charming look? You can use whatever edging tool you have, whether manual, electric, or gas-powered. And don’t throw away the trimmings – add them in the compost pile instead.
Remove Winter Protection and Rake Leaves
Now that warm weather is setting in, it's time to remove winter protective material that you used to cover your landscape plants. In addition to that, rake or blow off any excess leaves covering your lawn and plants to give the plants access to fresh air and the much-needed sunlight.
Add Value to Your Garden
Now that your garden is tidied up and you’ve sowed the seeds, here are few ideas to add value to your garden. With social distancing becoming the new normal, you might be wondering how you can spend the free time in a fun way, as a family. Well, with a trampoline, you get to bring the fun right into your backyard. Trampolines are good energy outlets for you and your kids, not to mention a healthy way to pass time in the current lockdown situation. The good thing about a trampoline is that it's pretty easy to set up. To make it even more fun, why not get the whole family to help? Depending on the model you’ve purchased, setting it up can take anything from one hour to three hours. However, take your time as you want to ensure that it's stronger and safer, and built to last.
Another great addition to your landscaping are the pergolas/pavilions. They provide the much-needed shade in the coming searing summer sun. This outdoor structure has many applications. From providing shade for seating areas next to a hot tub, pool or backyard patio to shading your fireplace, pergolas provide an inexpensive way to add extra space in your home yard. While you can DIY, only attempt it if you have the necessary carpentry skills. Otherwise, it might be safer and easier to hire professionals who specialize in constructing Pergolas. Don’t let this quarantine make life boring in your house. Construct a pergola and enjoy dinner under the stars or simply cool down with your favorite drinks.
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