Monday, April 7, 2014

Margaret Suanne Bone Shares Spring Gardening Tips

Q: Why is gardening such an immense pleasure for you when spring rolls around?

Margaret Suanne Bone:
Just the sheer beauty of a well-manicured garden inspires and energizes me!  With springtime just around the corner, it’s important to keep in mind a few handy techniques that can make you gardening that much more enjoyable. Before you begin, check pathways, steps and fences for any signs of cracking or other damage. Many sidewalks and footpaths are greatly affected by snow and ice melting. If there are no clear signs of wear or tear, clear the lawn of any debris and get ready to think about mowing.

Q: Are there specific tools that can be helpful in this process?

Margaret Suanne Bone: Shovels, rakes and pruners may be beneficial.  Make a list of the missing items, and then order all the necessary tools to complete the project. Order shrubs, trees and perennials suitable for the garden, but not before raking and refreshing mulch in areas that are to be used for planting.

Q: Do machines like leaf blowers and mowers experience hardships during the winter?

Margaret Suanne Bone: In many cases, yes they can require attention or even a complete overhaul. Send the leaf blower and mower into the shop for servicing. Once these machines have been fixed up, refill the mower with a high-quality oil and lubricate any parts that may have gotten rusty.

Q: How should the homeowner prepare the soil?

Margaret Suanne Bone: Administering a soil test is the best option. Draw a few samples from each planting area to gather an accurate reading. If the soil requires further treatment, add elemental sulfur or dolomitic lime. The former lowers the pH level, and the latter raises it.

Q: When the soil has been treated, what’s next on the list?

Margaret Suanne Bone:
Removing diseased, damaged and dead branches found on woody plants is vital to ensuring they stay fresh and vibrant. Trim and thin shrubs like roses, hydrangea and butterfly bush to keep them healthy. Then, prune spring-blooming trees and shrubs after they have flowered. All of these steps can make a garden look attractive throughout the spring and summer months.

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