With the start of spring, it’s not just time to clean up your house- it’s time to get your garden ready for the season as well! Check out our seven green gardening tips for spring!
Clean up flower beds and borders. This includes cutting back old growth, removing dead leaves and pulling weeds. Instead of using harmful chemicals to clear your yard and garden of weeds, do a little bit at a time and get rid of unwanted plants the old fashioned way- with a little bit of elbow grease! This is also a great time to remove any pets, like aphids and snails.
Prep your garden soil. Breathe some new life into your garden soil by tilling 8 to 12 inches beneath the surface and removing rocks or debris. To restore nutrients, add organic matter (compost) and fertilizer (preferably organic). To seal the deal, renew mulch wherever extra soil moisture will be needed.
Recycle. There are a number of kitchen scraps that can be used to enhance your garden. Add ground eggshells to the soil when planting veggies to prevent blossom end rot (which is caused by calcium deficiency). Adding coffee grounds to compost mixed in with the garden soil can boost nitrogen levels. Use clean yogurt cups or egg cartons as seedling planters; the cardboard egg cartons can even be planted in the soil as-is! Cooking water – from boiling pasta or vegetables – can be used to water plants, adding a nutrient boost.
Install rain barrels. While we don’t get a ton of rain in New Mexico, it’s important to gather what little we can. Install under a gutter downspout and reap the benefits! Just be sure to only use the collected water in the garden. It’s not potable!
Check your irrigation system. As the weather gets warmer, it’s a good time to test your drip irrigation system. Chances are, after the colder winter weather, some of the plastic distribution heads will need replacing, and hosing may need patching or replacing as well. A broken irrigation system will either over-water or not water your garden at all!
Fix fences, gates and trellises. Before your garden has grown back in, take the opportunity to repair any broken fences, gates or trellises. Broken bits can be hazardous to people and pets, and fences and gates without holes are more likely to keep unwanted pests out of your garden.
Create a composting area or bin. There’s a lot of benefit to keeping a compost pile or bin. Food scraps and garden plant waste can be given a second chance. When composted properly, waste turns into gold (figuratively speaking). Compost is key to a healthy, nutrient rich garden!
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