Spring is an explosion of nature that implores us to get out and get dirty. But beware – so many different tasks in not enough time can lead to chaos in the garden. Selecting the right order in which to do things can save steps later.

Lane Forest's First Employee Mark S. with His Cup of Morning Compost Tea
Lane Forest’s First Employee Mark S. with His Cup of Morning Compost Tea

Weed Sweeps

Weed sweeps are a great place to start in early spring. Get the weeds before they reseed and overpopulate. Feeling overwhelmed? Prioritize weeds going to seed or close to it.  Look for strategic zones you can sheet mulch, like a carpet of lawn seeds gone wild along a fence line. Sometimes this is easier than pulling up weeds with too much soil still attached. Identify the root type so you can be effective. Are they easy to pull annuals, or do they require a digging tool for tap roots? Being prepared with the right tool can save time.

Spring Fertilizing

Once the weed sweeps are done, you can safely fertilize existing plants. (There’s no point in feeding weeds, right?) Feed and amend your soil with organic fertilizers like kelp or bone meal; these amendments will get worked in to the soil during the spring rains and will be available to your plants when they need it. Harsh, synthetic fertilizers kill beneficial bacteria and fungus that contribute to overall plant health – and we don’t want that. Incorporate a monthly dose of liquid love in the form of a fish emulsion, seaweed, or compost tea – a great boost for both container and garden beds. Compost Tea is available at the Eugene and Springfield locations of Lane Forest March-October.

Mulched Bed
Blended Mint Protects a Bed of Zucchini & Onions

Spring Mulching

Once the weeding and fertilizing are done, there must be a way to tuck it all in; mulching is just the right trick to getting your green space all good to grow. Lane Forest Products has a great selection of mulches and composts that work well as a mulch. Is your soil wet and compacted, or easily dried out and sandy? Find out your soil type and mulch accordingly. I like using LFP Hemlock Mulch to tuck in Rhododendrons and azaleas. My perennials look amazing with a Blended Mint blanket.

Spring tasks should bring weed sweeps, fertilizing, and mulching (in that order) to get control of your garden before it turns wild. Then again, there’s nothing wrong with being a little wild in the garden! Just have fun.

This article was written by Oregon landscaper Heidi Branchesi of Heidi’s Timely Gardening Tips. Read more of Heidi’s Gardening Tips in our Expert Advice section.


1 thoughts on “Spring in the Garden – Avoiding Chaos

  1. Brook Everett says:

    Anyone out there have any stories about using Compost Tea? Any thoughts or practical advice you can share?

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Eugene location will have Compost Tea Fri-Sun (while supply lasts)

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