Give Your Garden Time to Wake Before Tidying Up

Boots on wet soil

If you’re a subscriber to my monthly newsletter, you have undoubtedly read my yearly pleas to stay off your lawns and out of your gardens at this time of year.

I know the warmer weather has some people itching to start raking lawns and cleaning out gardens, but I urge you to refrain from doing so.

Stay off the lawn

The soft, wet soil is easily compressed, and walking on it damages the roots of our lawns and perennial plant material, preventing air and moisture from reaching them.

With compacted soils, spring rains will quickly run off the ground into the sewers instead of being absorbed into the soil.

Stay out of the garden

You can’t see it, but the garden is full of insect life right now. Among the dead leaves tangled at the base of shrubs and the tall dry flower stocks now empty of last year’s seed and tucked into the surface of the cool soil, there is a world of beneficial insects and their eggs, quietly sleeping until the warm weather of spring coaxes them to life.

By prematurely cleaning up the garden, you may inadvertently dispose of butterfly and other beneficial insect larvae.

Patience is key

Despite the warmer weather drawing us outside, patience is key when heading out to our yards and gardens for the first time. Allow the soil to dry and the spring warmth to bring life back to the garden. It will ensure we give everything its best chance for a strong, healthy start to the season.

Anxious to get back in the garden?

Now is a great time to start your vegetable, herb, or flower seeds. Click here for some tips for starting seeds indoors.

Get ready for spring! Listen to the Down the Garden Path Podcast

To learn what you should (and shouldn’t!) be doing this month, and get more tips on seed starting, here are some popular podcast episodes you may enjoy:

March in the Garden

Seed Starting 101

Growing Herbs

Growing Indoors

Starting Seeds Indoors

Starting and Saving Seeds

Julia Dimakos helped kick off the 10th season of Down The Garden Path Podcast last week with a discussion on Microgreens and Sprouting.

If you’re eager to get working on your garden, you can check out past episodes here, or on YouTube.

Want to learn more about what to do for and in your garden month to month?

Gear up for spring with Down the Garden Path: A Step-By-Step Guide to Your Ontario Garden, an easy-to-follow guide designed to help homeowners create and maintain low-maintenance thriving gardens.


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