Starting signal for the garden season

Gardening in spring: this work is now on. Do not wait too long with lawn mowing.

Do not wait too long with lawn mowing.

Now that the days are getting longer and the temperatures stay above freezing even at night, some hobby gardeners are tingling in their fingers again. The lawn again wants to become the well-groomed green that it once was, and also beds, trees and shrubs need to be restored to a handsome shape. These gardening works are in spring.


Make the garden fit again: this work is now on

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After the winter, the garden needs a cure: Before sun and warm temperatures stimulate the plants to drift, lawns, flowerbeds, shrubs and trees should be prepared and cared for. Good preparation pays off.


Garden tools and tools are waiting

All tools and machines must be operational and ready to hand. Anyone who has not taken care of their maintenance this fall has to make up for it now. “The spade and all scissors must be cleaned, oiled and sharpened”, counts Hartmut Clemen of the regional association of gardening friends Bremen. In addition, all other garden utensils such as trellis, planters or the cold frame must be thoroughly cleaned and prepared for their use in the spring.


Engine-operated machines such as lawn mowers or electric hedge trimmers should be thoroughly inspected before their first use. Properly stowed, most garden tools survive the winter without any problems. Nevertheless, you should check after the winter break, if the devices are still working properly. Can the mower be adjusted in height? Do the engines run around? All functions of the devices should be tried once.


Flush connections and lines in the garden before use

Water connections and pipes in the garden are often turned off during the winter. Before the first use in spring, they should be well flushed, advises the real estate association IVD in Berlin. The fresh water eliminates a possible infestation with germs. And the test shows whether frost and rust have caused damage to the pipes. Garden owners can recognize this well if they keep an eye on the water meter. If this continues to turn despite closed faucets, there is a leak.


Treat the lawn to a spring cure

Then it can go to work: The pride of almost every garden owner is a beautiful, full and rich-green lawn. But that requires work. After the months of hibernation you have to help your lawn a little bit.


If leaves were left lying on the lawn in winter, they must be put right now. Otherwise, the lawn will be poorly ventilated, leading to the spread of diseases and fungi such as snow mold. You should also repair visible quirks in the lawn – bald or vermooste places, for example.


In March, the lawn gets a last Kalkgab. “When the frost has passed and the turf has grown more than five inches, it will be cut for the first time,” recommends expert Clemen. The most common mistakes when mowing the lawn should be avoided. Then follows the first classic lawn fertilization.


This will make the beds fit for spring

Once the ground is no longer frozen, it can also start in the flower beds. “Now the last old stems from the past year are removed and there should be no more leaves on the perennials – under the damp layer, the new shoots will usually bum and rot,” warns Karen Falch of the Saarland Garden Academy in Lebach. Nettle, dandelion, horsetail and other visible weeds are also removed.

When the first green becomes visible in the flower beds, one or the other gap also falls into the eye. It can now be filled by new plants. “Especially for grasses, there is no better planting time than the spring,” recommends Klaus Krohme, director of the Kreislehrgarten in Steinfurt.


Compost brings nutrients to the soil

But even off the beds – between the perennial plants and on unplanted areas – the soil must now be prepared. “For this purpose, the soil is loosened, so that it is well ventilated and can absorb rainfall,” says gardener Clemen.


Garden in spring: the most important works

Bed with flowering perennials and grasses. Altenm├╝llerFor shrubs and grasses look splendid in summer, they need care in spring.

The first warm rays of sunshine and sprouting spring blooms in the garden make many gardening enthusiasts eager to get their first jobs done in the garden. This includes an inventory in the perennial flowerbed. If the perennials have not yet been cut back, it’s time to cut off the brow stalks near the ground or simply tear them down. Cut grasses a hand wide over the ground – so fresh, young shoots are not injured.


Dig up beds or not?

A sign stands on a dug up bed.
Ditch or loosen the garden floor?
Organic gardeners claim that digging up the garden before winter is counterproductive. Garden expert Peter Rasch tests whether loosening prepares the soil better.


Previously, the digging of beds was considered obligatory for every gardener. Today many experts see it differently, at least as far as planted or used soils are concerned.

The reason: In one liter of soil live about ten billion microorganisms, which initiate important transformation processes in the garden soil. They are bound to specific conditions such as temperature and humidity in the different soil layers. By digging, the structure gets mixed up and the microorganisms die down. It is not uncommon for weeds to reach the surface by digging up and germinate.


So you should only dig if only a part of the garden, which has not been used, should be replanted or sown. It is also recommended for heavy, loamy soils, preferably in autumn, because the winter weather helps to break up the rough structure.


Do not hurt roots of ground cover

The surface of the garden floor should usually be loosened up with a cultivator or sow tooth. In this way, compost or minerals can be easily incorporated. Caution: When cultivating the soil rooting ground covering perennials such as lady’s mantle, golden strawberry and stork beak species can be disturbed. They grow worse and are more susceptible to diseases and pests.

Fertilizing for healthy growth

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In spring, the garden plants should also be fertilized so that they have a balanced nutrient supply. Horn shavings and horn meal are popular and highly recommended organic fertilizers, but they supply the plants mainly with nitrogen. For lush flowering and good health plants also need phosphorus and potassium and trace elements. The latter are usually abundant in rock flour. The best universal fertilizer is compost. Properly built and implemented, it delivers everything that plants need. Recommended are two to three liters per square meter.


If so-called heavy-eaters such as potatoes and cabbages are cultivated in the vegetable garden, it should be more like three to four liters of compost per square meter, weak-eaters such as herbs need less nutrients.


What helps against moss?

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In many gardens moss is very common, but not always that is an indication of too acidic soil. Moss is more indicative of encrustations of the soil surface. Easy roughening and incorporation of rock flour is often more useful than lime. Application of lime is only useful if the pH of the soil has been previously determined and the analysis shows that the soil is too acidic. In fact, most garden floors are sufficiently lime-rich.


Prevent diseases of roses

Very important are hygiene measures. Rose twigs, which show suspicious brown spots on their surface and which sometimes tear something open, must be consistently removed into the healthy wood. These are often wood diseases that can not be controlled directly – only the preventive removal of the affected areas prevents it from spreading. Even dried leaves of the plants should be removed from the bed and disposed of with household waste, so that any fungal diseases can not spread.

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