8 Easy Steps on The Miniature Garden To-Do List this Spring
It’s time to clean up your container gardens! They’ve been sitting all winter and are now ready to prep and grow for Spring. Here’s a checklist to help you:
* Check to see if roots are growing out of the bottom. If so, it’s time to repot. Depending on what is planted, divide the plants and replant them. This will maintain the same design. You can even make two matching pots, swap plants with your gardener friends, or plant them in the garden bed for some continuity throughout your garden.
* Remove any debris on the soil – it’s where the snails and slugs like to hide – and trim back any dead or leggy branches on your trees or bedding plants.
* After a couple of months the garden soil may develop a crusty layer on top thatredirects the water toward the sides of the pot, away from the plant’s roots. Use a garden fork or weeder to break up this crusty layer of soil so the water will be redirected evenly throughout the garden and the roots will get much needed moisture.
* If repotting is not required, poke a stick deep into the soil to aerate the soil around the rootballs. It gets compacted when it has been planted for a couple of seasons and this will help get air and water to the roots.
*** Check for “conifer dieback.” When miniature and dwarf spruces shed their foliage, it often gets stuck in the middle of the plant, eventually suffocating and killing it. Slough off this dead foliage to the ground with your fingers, then clean up the dead needles with a garden fork.
* Look for snails and slugs around the base, bottom and sides of your container. They may still be dormant if the area is cool. Also check the inside edges of the pot, underneath the foliage, the back of the garden beds and in the damp, shady areas close to the house or on the house. I toss them into an out-of-the-way place in our garden and they can find something else to munch on.
* If the garden is older than two years, sprinkle some general, organic fertilizer on top and mix it in to the top layer of the soil.
* Wipe the outside of the pot with a soft cloth. You’re done!
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