Spring is just around the corner and a new season begins!
Text and photo: Frederik Skovgaard from Udkansk
Spring is my absolute favorite season. To watch the days getting longer, feel the sun warming my face again and all the green is coming up from the ground faster and faster for every day, makes me extremely happy. Just as much as I need a break from all the gardening after a long season, just as big is the joy when it starts all over again after winter.
Spring has a lot of tasks, and it is nice to get off to a good start. Here are some gardening jobs you can get started with.
In spring the greenhouse has truly proven useful since I cultivate a lot of plants from seeds and I make use of the warm temperatures in the greenhouse. The days when the sun is out, the temperature can easily get to 15-25 degrees. But before I start cultivating, the greenhouse needs to be cleaned. Everything must be taken out and be washed and cleaned. You will get the feeling of starting from fresh with a blank canvas. A bit of soft soap and elbow grease and then you are ready to go! If you had trouble with pests the previous season, then cleaning is really important because many pests like to stay in the glazing bars and pots during winter. So make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. When everything is cleaned with soap, it is then cleaned with a hose.
It is a good idea to revive the soil in your garden beds with compost. Distribute a 5-7 cm layer of soil, so the soil is ready to be cultivated for the new season. Remember that many of the crops we cultivate in the greenhouse requires a lot of nutrients, meaning that the soil will quickly be exhausted if no new nutrients are added. For the same reason we do not reuse potting soil.
Decorate the greenhouse with daffodils
Visiting plant nurseries at this time is quite amazing. People’s eyes are lit up when they see all the colourful options for spring. Clearly people have spring fever these days, and it is the best feeling when a new season begins.
The other day I took the liberty to visit the local garden centre to buy a couple of viola conuta and pots with bulbs of daffodils and grape hyacinths. A daffodil which can be bought everywhere is the sort called “Bridal Crown”. It is one of the many miracles in spring, because it is multi-flowered (multiple flowers grow from each stem). It is really beautiful and it smells just wonderfully. And did I mention that this daffodil is a perennial meaning that the bulb can be transplanted in the garden after it has bloomed?
I always cultivate lovely viola cornuta in my pots, but try not to buy them too cheap. Cheap violas are usually sprayed with growth inhibiting products so they are easier and cheaper to transport. Considering what you save, it is not worth it. Besides the viola cornuta is prettier when it can grow bigger.
Another tip regarding violas is to buy the plants that have been hardened, especially if you intend to put them outdoor. To ‘harden’ means that the plant has been acclimatized so it can withstand the changing weather. If you buy violas that have been cultivated in a warm and safe greenhouse, they will get a shock when they are transplanted outside and it will take much longer time for the plant to grow and bloom.
Spring make-over in the garden
In the garden I am busy with pruning the withered perennial tops so it is easier for the air and light to reach the new shoots, which are ready to germinate when the temperature rises. The lawn is also paid some attention. It is usually sad looking after a long winter, but for it to get off to a good start, I rake and use a verticutter. First, I use the rake to rake the leaves and then I use the verticutter to stimulate the roots. This also allows air to reach the grass and the sun can warm the ground faster, which helps it to grow. March is a good time to apply lime to the lawn. If you have sandy soil, it usually is a waste of money, since the soil already do not contain enough lime.
To really help your lawn you can do some topdressing. Topdressing is a thin layer of sand and soil that is put on top of the lawn. It strengthens the grass by improving the soil and fertilizing it.
Move the plants
Spring is a great time to move some of the plants if you want to have them somewhere else. It is for example small shrubs, roses and perennials. The plants are starting to grow now the light and warmth are returning. But most deciduous plants have no leaves yet, and therefore, they do not need much water. This makes it easier to move the plant. Before you move it, check the weather forecast and make sure there is no risk of frost.
Divide the perennials
Perennials are the gift that keeps on giving, and for this reason I have always liked this kind of plants. Most perennials thrive when they are divided after a couple of years and at the same time it is an easy way to get more free plants. Sometimes a fully-grown perennial will get a bare spot in the middle. This is a sign of that it is time to divide the plant. The method is quite simple: The perennial is dug up with roots and soil. Then with a sharp spade you divide the roots in two. If you want to divide the perennial in smaller sections, you can do that too. Make sure that every section has a few small green shoots near the base and that it also has lots of roots. The perennials must be replanted immediately after they are divided in the same depth as the original plant was. Remember to irrigate the newly planted perennials even though the soil seems moist.
It is now almost 2.30 pm, and the sun is shining in a clear blue sky and the birds are singing. So I will end the article here, and go out in my garden.
I hope you get a great spring.
Best garden wishes
Frederik B. Skovgaard
Om Udkansk v/ Nanna & Frederik
Nanna and Frederik are a couple living in Northern Denmark. They post content about plants, nature and garden on their Instagram profile ‘Udkansk’. Furthermore, they are ambassadors for the Greenhouse Forum where they share their garden life and experiences in their Juliana Grand Oase greenhouse.Get to know Udkansk v/ Nanna & Frederik
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