Spring Into Bayscaping

  Runoff Busters

Way back in the fall, you might remember our very first blog post told you that fall is the best time for plants to put down their roots. Since you laid the groundwork in the fall, these plants will be ready to bloom in the spring with just a little prep work. Here’s the dirt on what needs to be done in your yard to prepare for spring Bay-friendly landscaping.

If you are planning to add some new native plants to your yard, you should add at least a half-inch layer of compost to nourish your garden with a natural source of organic nutrients and help it absorb more stormwater. Next, replenish the mulch on top of your garden beds, which also helps to retain stormwater and limit weed growth.

Make sure your rain garden has a warm blanket of mulch for the winter.

You should check to see if your soil has been compacted during the winter months. According to Blue Water Baltimore, an easy and cost-effective method is the “screwdriver test”. Insert a longer screwdriver into damp soil. You should be able to easily push the screwdriver completely into the ground. If this is too difficult, the soil is likely compacted. Use a shovel or digging fork to loosen the dry soil so it doesn’t clump together. This will help warm the soil and allow roots to spread through it.

If you’ve done a soil test and still need to use fertilizer, add it sparingly. Never add fertilizer to your yard before a spring rainstorm. The showers that bring May flowers will also carry fertilizer loaded with excessive nutrients into local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

The last spring cleaning chore your garden needs is to clear out your gutters. This will prevent water from spilling over and drenching plants below. Once your flowers and shrubs start blooming, you should regularly deadhead (or pinch) them. Pinching is not just to add color to your cheeks. Pinching off wilted flowers helps the rest of the plant expend energy into creating new blossoms. This will help introduce more color to your garden and keep it colorful for a longer period of time.

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