How to Prepare Your Garden for Spring in Spokane
With temperatures warming up and the snow slowly melting, you might be realizing that your garden has sat neglected all winter! But no worries - we’ve got the top 10 things you need to do to get your garden ready for Spokane’s glorious spring:
Clean up flower beds and borders.
As the snow melts, your flower beds might be a bit of a mess with dead plants, leaves, and winter gunk. Take a few moments to pull out dead plants, trim back plants that may have run amuck, and rake out dead leaves and detritus.
Pay special attention to the borders of your flower beds, and address any roots or plants that might be growing in the borders. Roots can quickly cause structural damage if they grow through the borders. Make sure your borders are straight, pretty, and in good shape for another growing season
Find and remove garden pests.
Finding and eradicating any pest colonies in your garden now will save you a ton of heartache in the spring and summer. Check the crowns of your perennial plants and be on the lookout for snails, slugs, and aphid colonies.
Be sure to clear the bedding out of last summer’s pots if you haven’t already done so. Check for white-vine-weevil larvae, which live in the bedding and feast on your plants’ roots.
Evaluate fences and trellis around your garden.
Spokane’s winter storms and heavy snow can leave your fences and trellis damaged. Check for rotting, deterioration, and instability. Wooden fences may have loose or damaged planks, which you’ll want to repair or replace to keep everything in tip top shape. Use a power washer or hose and brush to remove dirt, moss, and other debris from fencing. Let your fence dry completely before applying a stain or sealant of your choice - we recommend going for two coats!
Trellis can blow over or break during windstorms or under the weight of heavy snow. Check that your trellis is in place and securely fixed. Be sure that the plants growing on your trellis are healthy and ready for a growth spurt this spring.
Dust off and clean garden tools.
Use a strong detergent and stiff brush to wash your garden tools. Make sure to clean shovels, rakes, and hand tools. It is especially important to clean and sharpen hand tools. Clean hand tools will prevent the spread of fungi and other harmful organisms, while sharp tools will allow you to cut clean and smooth lines when trimming plants with minimal trauma.
Oiling your tools will keep them looking and feeling nice for years to come, extending the value of your purchase.
Clean out your greenhouse.
Washing your greenhouse is important because it can be a hotbed for growth -- which is the point, but can be a pain if you get the wrong kinds of things growing! Start by washing the outside of your greenhouse with water and detergent to get rid of any moss, algae, and non-specific winter yuckies. This will allow more light to pass through once your seeds are planted.
Don’t neglect the inside. Sweep out the inside of your greenhouse and wash it down too. We recommend using a garden disinfectant; your local hardware store can recommend the right one for your needs. Make sure you get the walls, floor, benches, and pots. You’ll want to allow for plenty of ventilation over the following days to ensure that everything dries properly.
Order summer-flowering bulbs and seeds.
Now that everything in your garden is clean and ready to go, you’ll want to pick up your summer-flowering bulbs and seeds and start planting!
Some good options are gladioli, lilies, and ranunculi. Try your local hardware/gardening store, or order the bulbs online through direct suppliers and growers or major websites like Amazon.
Sow seeds for any plants that need a longer season.
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to start the seeds for plants that need a longer growing season. Some examples would be geraniums (pelargoniums), begonias, antirrhinums, peppers and aubergines. Don’t forget to start them in a heated propagator or similar arrangement to allow them to grow properly in the colder weather.
Set up rainwater collection sites.
This is one of the biggest things you can do to help practice sustainable and environmentally sustainable gardening. Installing a water butt on your rain pipes can be done easily with DIY kits available at most home improvement stores.
Saving water, especially during the hotter summer months, can save you money and help maintain Spokane’s water reserves. Plus, some plants like blueberries do better with rainwater because tap water typically is slightly alkaline!
Start a compost pile.
Starting your compost bin is simple with the availability of ready-made bins sold at hardware and home improvement stores. Once you’ve purchased the bin, you’ll be able to add your organic waste like fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, paper and wood shavings, grass clippings, and more.
In terms of maintenance, you’ll want to use a pitchfork to churn your compost monthly to aerate it, and maybe consider throwing in compost worms or something similar to add the process. When everything breaks down, you’ll have a rich, fertile organic product to add to your soil and help your plants grow!
Enjoy your time outdoors in the sunshine!
Spokane winters can sure feel long sometimes, so take this outdoors time as a blessing and enjoy it. Soak up some sun, fresh air, and work those muscles a bit, because summer is coming and there’s so much to do here!
The Real Estate Agent Spokane Team
Carrie Meyer, leader of the Real Estate Agent Spokane Team, transferred to real estate after a 30+ year career as a paralegal (Certified Legal Assistant). Her combined experience in law and real estate makes her a tour de force in contracts and negotiations.
Wendy Smith, team member, has lived all over the country before finding her forever home in Spokane. Wendy pairs her real estate experience with a background in customer service to provide an exemplary client experience for both buyers and sellers.
The Real Estate Agent Spokane Team is dedicated to sharing and promoting everything great about Spokane! We believe that Spokane is the best city in America, and there are so many reasons why. That’s why we dedicate our blog, Facebook, and YouTube channel to highlighting the best that Spokane has to offer. Be sure to follow along with us for more insider updates on events, dining and nightlife, and outdoor activities in Spokane.