Spring Gardening Tips

Spring is in the air in beautiful Lake Carroll and that means it’s a perfect time to develop or expand your home’s garden. From getting seeds started for a vegetable patch to doing some annual lawn mower maintenance, spring is the best time to lay in your garden’s plans for the rest of the year.

Heed Our Frost Date

In Western Illinois, with our gentle landscape and climate, it is important to pay attention to our late frost date when determining when to plant. A frost date signals the day when the statistical probability of a late season frost is at 50-50. Many gardeners use the frost date of the region to know when to direct seed plants and start hardening off seedlings. But any gardener worth their gloves will also caution you to be prepared. In Illinois a cold snap with freezing temperatures has been recorded as late as Memorial Day.

Below freezing temperatures after the frost date can damage or kill tender shoots and new plantings. In your springtime garden keep an eye on the weather – especially late-night temperature drops – and use frost cloth, dome covers and other protective strategies to keep your garden out of harm’s way.

Clean Your Lawn

With the snow and ice disappearing with the season, it’s time to tidy up your lawn to make it healthier and easier to maintain in the coming months. Comb your lawn for sticks, rocks and other obstructions that could interfere with trimming and mowing.

The Spring thaw is also a great time to seed any bare patches in the lawn’s grass. Seeding a lawn involves a little bit of work to successfully establish the young grass. Before the ground is seeded, it should be dug up and fertilized. Once seeds have been surface-sown, it is important to rake them gently into good contact with the soil. The area should remain well-watered for the first several weeks while new grass grown in.

Perennial Care

Many perennial plants in your garden can be divided in the Spring, where segments of a plant have the best ability to re-establish themselves and grow. If a perennial in your garden is outgrowing its area, consider thinning it by dividing the plant. In order to properly divide a perennial plant, care must be taken. Dig up the entire plant being careful around the established roots. Very gently separate the plant into a few smaller clusters, pulling it apart from the middle. Take time to work the roots free from each other and then replant the perennials in your desired locations.

Prune Trees and Shrubs

Spring is the ideal time to undertake pruning the trees and large shrubs on your property. With the major stress of winter weather behind them, and the effort to put out new leaves just ahead, pruning improves a tree’s appearance, productivity and growth.

You’ll want to prune your trees while they are dormant and use a few guiding principles to shape the branches. First, any suckers growing at the base of the tree should be cut back to the ground. Next, look for branches that are dead or diseased and cut them back. A rule of thumb for where to cut a branch is to cut back to the point where it joins another branch.

Another technique for encouraging healthy growth is to prune out branches that cross one another, opening up the space. You can also shape the direction of plant growth by where you prune. By pruning branches back to an outward facing bud, you encourage the plant to expand outward rather than tangling back into itself.

Fawn Ridge Realty

Ready to garden, but you need to find the right lawn to call your own? Fawn Ridge Realty specializes in properties in the Lake Carroll community where there’s something for everyone. Scenic properties situated around Illinois’ largest private lake, life in Lake Carroll is loaded with benefits and amenities for the whole family all year round. The quiet, lush Western Illinois countryside make the ideal place to get your garden started at the home of your dreams. Need to find out more? Contact us today and see what life in beautiful Lake Carroll can offer you!