4 steps to prepare your cottage garden for spring

As the snow starts to melt, cottagers set their sights on the lake, dock, and barbecue—but it’s also time to put on the garden gloves. Now’s your chance to prepare your lawn, hedges, and flower beds for the upcoming season so you can spend more time relaxing in the sun come summer. These four easy steps will lay the foundation for a great-looking garden.



1) Clean up, blow away, and rake



Fall and winter can lead to a lot of leaves, twigs, pinecones, and other debris scattered across your property. Your first step is to clear away everything that has gathered to give your lawn and the flowerbeds a chance to recover. The occasional leaf doesn’t constitute any danger, but piles or layers of leaves can cause the grass to mould or decay. 



Leaves and other leftover organic materials are an excellent addition to the compost and can later be returned to the garden as an organic energy boost.



2) Clear away weeds and aerate the soil



Get rid of any weeds as early as possible, before the sun gives them energy to start growing. Also be sure to cut away withered leaves and grass from cultivated parts of the garden. Be mindful not to tear up the withered parts of plants you want to keep when you’re working with them. This might damage their roots.



The soil also needs to be loosened. This makes it possible for the oxygen to reach the roots of the plants. In smaller beds you’ll get by with hand tools, but if you’re working with larger areas, a rotary cultivator is the way to go.



3) Trim the hedges



The way to get a good-looking hedge always starts with hedge cutters. Hedges with leaves should be trimmed during the winter or early spring. Conifers are better trimmed during the growing period. Do so once during early spring and once more in the middle of the summer.



4) Cut and scarify the lawn



The lawn needs time to recover after winter. Remember not to cut the grass too short the first couple of times. With a grass level of five to nine centimetres, you’ll have a fine, sustainable lawn that’s ready for summer use.



Another trick to achieving a healthy lawn is to scarify it. This should be done when the grass has started to grow but before the ground has dried up and hardened. Scarifying has several benefits: It pulls up the moss, and it pulls up the dead materials stuck in the surface layers, providing the grass roots with oxygen. An aerated surface layer will keep the moss away and give grass the needed energy to take up the fight with moss and weeds.

For more lawn tips and information about tool options for proper maintenance visit www.husqvarna.ca.