Spring Planning: Gardening Ideas

Feb 11, 2016

Unfinished garden outside a suburban home

Image via libraryrachel on Flickr

Spring’s not too far off, and if you’re a gardener you probably can hardly wait! It’s never too early to start planning, so we’ve planned some spring gardening ideas for you here. If you want to manipulate your plant placement to improve and make use of water runoff, there are plenty of things to consider.

Setting Up For Success

First, take a walk around your yard and take note of any tree limbs that have fallen or any branches that are overhanging the house or shed, suggests Martha Stewart. Trim last year’s foliage, rake mulch areas, and check on the status of your fences, gates, posts, pathways and steps to ensure they made it through winter OK. You may have some small repair work to do to ensure these elements are safe for spring.

Inspect your gutters for clogged debris. You’ll have to scoop out the leaves and twigs so that water can flow smoothly off the roof and drain out into the yard. If you don’t have the right ladder or safety equipment to achieve this, it’s best to call in a professional who is equipped to handle the job. Make sure the gutters are securely attached to the home. If not, they will have to be tightened.

Choosing New Plants

Consider plant placement. If your yard gets lots of sun and you love perennials, choose miniature roses, hibiscuses, cornflowers, lamb’s ears, Shasta daisies, and lavenders. Annuals that do well in full sun include American Marigolds, Black-eyed Susans, American Baskets, cornflowers, sunflowers and Golden Fleece. The best flowers for shade include bigroot geranium, toad lily, ajuga, old fashioned bleeding heart and hosta.

If you planned ahead in the fall, planting bulbs like snow crocus, Glory of the Snow, Siberian squill, snowdrop and winter aconite, you can enjoy late-winter and early-spring blossoms in a rainbow of colors: pink, purple, yellow, blue and white flowers. If you didn’t do that this year, mark it on your calendar as a fall-time task for next year. It will more than pay off come early spring.

Planning For Drainage

Plants need proper drainage in order to thrive. By planting your shrubs and flowers strategically, you can improve drainage from foundation and gutter downspouts. The best drainage ratio is 15 percent air, 35 percent water and then the bulk made up of solids. If you have poor drainage in your garden, consider raised beds or add a well-balanced soil mixture. If your gutter placement is not amenable to proper drainage due to grading concerns, consider adding a French drain or gutter extensions.

Larson Home Services can help with your spring planning by installing new Gutter Shutter gutters and giving advice on downspout options. Give us a shout if you have any questions about these ideas. Happy planning!