6 Outdoor Gardening Tips for Spring

Set of tools for gardener and flowerpots in sunny garden

The spring flowers and leaves are starting to bloom and the weather is warming up. It’s once again time to tend to your garden. If you have one, you probably haven’t been doing much gardening for several months, so you might be wondering where to start. Here are spring gardening tips to get things going again.

1.  Organize Your Tools

Your gardening tools have likely been sitting in the shed for some time. Check each item to see if it’s in working order. If cutting blades have become dull, sharpen them with a file mill and apply penetrating oil to address corrosion or prevent it. Purchase new fertilizer and soil products if needed.

2.  Inspect Your Garden

Harsh winter weather can be unforgiving for gardens and yards. Dead plants, fallen branches, rocks, and storm debris should be cleared before proceeding with your garden. Inspect existing plants for cold, snow, or ice damage and assess the condition of fences, walls, and other hardscaping elements. Check for skunk, rabbit, mole, chipmunk, and other animal burrows as well. Pests such as aphids, slugs, and snails should be dealt with too.

3.  Remove Weeds and Mulch

Completely remove any weeds and ensure they are gone for good. Then place them in a compost pile or burn them immediately. Living weeds can spread their seeds around and threaten your garden. Also, rake away any mulch to expose the soil, unless the mulch is well composted.

4.  Prune Trees and Shrubs

Pruning should be done before the growing season is in full swing. To start, prune out any damaged or broken plant material. Dead wood should be removed as well.

Then prune any trees or shrubs that will bloom over recent growth, first sterilizing pruners with isopropyl alcohol to avoid spreading plant disease. Don’t prune plants that bloom on old wood. For evergreens, it’s okay to shear them back if their new growth is complete.

5.  Change/Freshen Up the Soil

Replace any soil that is of poor quality. To freshen it up, you can add fertilizer, which provides nutrients for growing plants and helps those you’ve pruned to heal. The soil may have compacted under the winter frost. To get your soil ready for gardening:

  • Loosen the soil by tilling or turning it to 12 to 14 inches deep.
  • Mix in well-composted mulch or leaf litter.
  • Test the soil’s pH and nutrient levels.
  • Add a healthy compost layer to poor soil.
  • Help treated soil settle by raking and watering it lightly.

Red-haired girl smelling red flowers in wooden box

6.  Set Up New Planters and Garden Beds

In addition to installing supports such as trellises and stakes, start placing and/or building your planters and garden beds. Clean out existing beds if necessary. If you’re using garden pots or window boxes, order them now to ensure you have what you need.

At Capital Deck & Stair, we provide professional planter installation for residential and commercial property owners. Our planters can house flowers, shrubbery, and small trees. Raised and below-grade planters are available, while our professionals are trained and equipped to waterproof planter foundations and structures as well.

Request a free estimate online or call 424-339-0953 for more information.

How to Create a Healthy Planter Garden

Outdoor planter with green planting on the building

At Capital Deck & Stair, we’re known for waterproofing and restoration services throughout Los Angeles. We also help install planters to enhance the outdoor environments of our customers’ properties. Planting a garden involves several steps. Here is a closer look at the process.

Find the Perfect Plants

Picking a lot of colorful eye-catching plants at random isn’t going to yield the healthiest garden. It’s best to choose plants native to your region. Also, some plants thrive under partial or full sunlight or in the shade or with more or less water. If you’re mixing different types in close proximity, choose plants requiring similar conditions.

Consider the visual appeal of your planter. If you want it to be bold, choose orange, yellow, or blue. For a more soothing vibe, mix reds and yellows or blues and pinks. You can be creative and sophisticated, too, with completely unrelated colors that complement your space.

Choose Great Soil

Garden plants thrive most in nutrient rich soil. Organic soil supports plant growth because it has abundant materials, such as grass clippings, leaves, and compost. Fungi and bacteria help maintain its quality too. For small containers, purchase a houseplant soil mixture, as ordinary garden soil is too dense, and pre-moisten it with water before filling the container.

Select the Right Garden Planter Box

The beauty and wellbeing of your plants rests on several factors here, including:

● Size: Consider the size of your plants and their roots. If the planter is too small, there may be less water, oxygen, and nutrients available. The planter should be up to 8 inches in diameter for plants up to 12 inches in height. Larger planters, of around 24 inches in diameter, should be used for taller plants of around 24 to 36 inches.
● Material: Brittle materials, such as clay or plastic, can easily break. Planter material can also influence how often you need to water plants. Wood is more protective against temperature swings and provides an attractive natural look.
● Drainage: Holes for drainage are critical, as waterlogged soil can kill plants. Some planter containers have holes. Others may require drilling. The holes need to be just large enough for excess water to drain.

Maintenance

Properly maintaining your garden planters helps keep your plants alive and healthy. These are some helpful maintenance tips:

● Prune Leaves: Remove overgrowth that can cause a tattered mess of leaves, stems, and dead flowers. Once your plants start filling in, pruning will help them thrive in their setting. If any become diseased, remove them immediately, as the problem can quickly spread.

A natural stone retaining wall with matching coping creates a raised planter

  • ● Remove Weeds: Mulches and coverings can suppress weed growth. When weeds start growing, the most effective solution is to pull them out. Weeds with deep roots may need to be dug out. Or, you can do weekly cutting to keep them in check.
  • ● Waterproofing: Garden planters, especially those made of wood, can decay, crack, and fail without being waterproofed. A waterproof coating will make your planter more durable so you can keep your plants healthy.

Call for Planter Installation and Waterproofing

If you’re starting a garden, Capital Deck & Stair can transform your outdoor space by installing raised or below-grade planters; waterproof planter foundations and other structures can be installed as well. We even waterproof our customers’ planters to maintain their integrity. Call us at 424-339-0953 to learn more.