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Spring Home Garden How To

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

The first days of spring excite gardeners everywhere--a new season means a fresh start on the garden you've always wanted. But spring can also be daunting, especially for new gardeners. Is February too early to start landscaping? Is March too late to begin planting a home garden? With a few simple guidelines, spring in your home garden can be every bit as pleasurable as it should be. Read on for easy spring home garden how to.
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Give Your Landscaping a Refresher Course

After the snow clears (if you're "lucky" enough to get some), your first home garden duty of the year is spring cleaning. Remove any debris--fallen branches, old leaves, litter--from your garden beds and your lawn. After gathering the big stuff by hand, lightly rake your soil and lawn to remove the rest. Softening up the soil, as long as you're gentle, gives early spring plants a helping hand.

Hit the Home Garden Books

The first warm days of spring are not a starting whistle giving you the go ahead to plant, plant, plant. Before you plant any seeds--lawn, flower, vegetable or otherwise--do some research on planting guidelines for your area. Some vegetables like peas and cabbage can go in early. April is the best spring planting window for lawns in most of the country. Early summer is ideal for a whole range of flowers. Once you've got the dates straight, you can start planting the home garden of your dreams, bit by bit. Mother Nature's done you a landscaping favor by spacing out planting times!

Get to the Heart of Great Landscaping--Great Soil

Once you've got planting dates straight, you're likely to see you have some time on your hands this spring. Use that time to improve your soil. If you haven't had your soil tested recently, get it tested and amend it according to the results. If you haven't aerated your lawn recently, ease soil compaction by aerating. Give your soil a nutrient boost by lightly fertilizing your lawn and your garden beds. With your soil in great shape, your home garden will look better, spring, summer, and fall. 

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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