Chances are, right now, you’re gearing up to tackle that spring clean-up in the coming weeks. We all know too well how much there is to do every year, and that it can often be incredibly tempting to use some less-than-sustainable methods in the interest of getting everything done. This year, however, why not try and tackle your spring cleaning the eco-friendly way?
By using sustainable products and strategies to get your garden into gear, you’re getting ready for the blooming season ahead while also helping keep the earth happy and healthy. Here is our guide to achieving a green spring clean this year!
Don’t Rush a Good Thing
The garden looks a mess, and you’re dying to get out there and exercise your long-slumbering green thumb. However, remember that many critters have a very long winter hibernation period, and may not be ready to stir just yet. As a general guide, we recommend leaving piles of debris and leaves until the weather reaches consistent temperatures of 10ºC. Thankfully, in Powell River, that usually happens pretty quickly come springtime!
This same philosophy of patience applies to mulching: rushing to throw on that layer of spring mulch too early can slow down the soil’s warming process, to the detriment of seeds waiting to make their grand entrance. Instead, wait until mid-to-late March, and be sure to use up any compost or leaf clippings from the fall. If you want a more tailored look, finish with a good bark mulch on top of your compost layer.
You undoubtedly already have a pile of garden debris on your hands that will only get bigger as you start pruning your perennials and trimming your hedges. These all make great additions to your compost pile, so gather what you can for next year’s soil amendment.
Leaves are also a fantastic soil amendment alongside compost. If you have left your leaf piles alone until the spring for critters to use, now’s the time to gather them up into a separate pile and let them break down on their own.
If you made leaf mould last season, add it to your potting mix and garden beds this spring instead of peat moss, as leaf mould is incredibly nutritious for growing plants and a much more eco-friendly option.
Plant a Pollinator Patch in your Powell River Garden
Cleaning up the garden in the spring also means preparing it for the host of hungry pollinators that will soon be stopping by. If you’ve got a tiny space in your garden or a few extra planter boxes to spare, consider planting a patch full of wildflowers sure to please any passing pollinator! Make this a part of your spring clean-up routine to encourage beneficial wildlife to your landscape.
If you have a pond or other water features, now is also the time to give them a good clean with all-natural, eco-friendly cleaning supplies and additives, like beneficial bacteria and clarifiers, in preparation for birds and other larger wildlife.
Keep bird feeders and birdbaths clean using hot water and good scouring brushes, and avoid using synthetic soaps or detergents.
Use Eco-Friendly Products & Save Water
If you want a garden that truly embraces an eco-friendly mindset, make sure you’re using earth-friendly products this spring for your cleaning and all your other planting projects. Using compost from your garden and leaf mould from last year’s leaves is recycling the way it was meant to be and also means you’ll need to buy less this year to get your garden back up and running. Also, avoid using pesticides and herbicides during your spring clean-up and weed removal.
We also encourage you to consider water-saving techniques in preparation for the hot summer days ahead; if you haven’t been collecting rainwater over the wet Powell River winter, you can certainly start now! Take advantage of the rainy spring to stock up on water for your plants and shrubs.
Kill Weeds Naturally
If you’ve got weeds to tame this spring, you’re definitely not alone! Thankfully, there are many ways to rid your landscape of weeds without dousing it in harmful chemicals. The best way to remove weeds the natural way is by hand, pulling them out from the root.
Many roots pop out quite easily, and getting rid of the root system means they won’t grow back any time soon. You can also add pulled, dried-out weeds to your compost pile. Other methods include treating weeds with boiling water, vinegar, salt, or a flame weeder. Just be careful if you choose to burn away your weeds, especially during the dry season.
We’ve got so many ideas to help with your launch into the planting season, and we hope you’ve enjoyed our spring clean-up guide for Powell River. Come by Mother Nature Garden Centre today for more spring cleaning tips and tricks, garden and pet supplies, and some fabulous home decor finds!