Thursday, May 19, 2011

Connect with Nature: Get Out and Garden

Tastes like Spring by Larissa Sayer (via Flickr)
What will you be doing this weekend? Opening up the cottage? Visiting a national park? How about staying closer to home and getting out into the garden?

The May long weekend traditionally marks the start of gardening season in most parts of Canada. The danger of frost has passed and the soil has had a chance to dry out from the winter melt and spring rain. Where to start with 3 days of gardening bliss ahead?

First, decide what type of improvements you’d like to make to your garden this year: traditional, wildflower, vegetable or maybe a mix. If this is your first time gardening, remember to start small – there will always be room for changes in future years!

Garden entry by Andrea_44 (via Flickr)
Next, there’s probably some tidying up to do in the yard. Make sure to clean up any debris that has ended up in the garden over the winter, as well as any dead plants that didn’t get removed last fall. You’ll probably want to aerate the soil as well, breaking it up with a hoe or other garden tool so that air and water can bring nutrients back into it.

After all that preparation, it’s finally time to plant things! Make sure you’ve chosen plants that are suited for your region and that you follow the directions for the amount of sunlight, water and nutrients each one needs.

No matter what kind of garden you choose, an easy way to make it greener is to install a rain barrel. And if you’re in a small space that doesn’t allow for a large garden, why not try your hand at container gardening instead?

It can be easy to spend a lot of time in the garden, but remember not to overdo it. Take a break to enjoy the early spring flowers, or walk around the block and admire other people’s gardens.

What plans do you have for your garden this year? Let us know in the comments below.