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The snow has started to melt & you look around your garden to see dead leaves and a patchy lawn but you’re eager to start welcoming the warmer weather by getting your garden ready for flowers, BBQ’s and a nice lawn for the kids to play on.

Where do you start?

We know the work-life balance is important and you don’t have a lot of time on your hands.
So here are some tips on getting your garden ready for the nicer weather! I’m sure your children will also love to be included in the process.

During your garden inspection and work, your children will want to help out. If you have young children, you will need to keep them safe but occupied so you can get your work done. Pavement chalk, bubbles and a ball should keep them busy for a little while. Little children are also great little helpers for collecting sticks, so don’t let that enthusiasm go to waste. Older children can be given some outdoor tasks and so, they can be a more active help with garden work. If you have a baby or toddler, plan your inspection during their nap time, and carry the baby monitor with you or get someone to look after them.

Garden Maintenance / Prep 

The best place to start is in the garage and/or shed. Inspect your forks, rakes, spades and shovels. Remove any dirt and use a file to sharpen the blades. Also inspect your garden hose, fittings and nozzles for cracks or damage.

After the garage/shed check, walk through your garden, taking note of dead leaves and winter debris that need to be cleared! Also inspect your lawn, looking for dead patches and bumpy or uneven parts.

The next step is to go to the shop and buy more grass seed for your dead patches, and replenish your fertilizer and chemicals stock. Also replace old, rusty or broken gardening tools. Many gardening shops also have early season sales where you can replace your stock and save money.

Once the work plan is complete and your tools are sharpened, you can start your garden work.

Depending on the size of your garden and what you want to do with it, you may opt for having the lawn rolled or aerated. Lawn rolling involves running a heavy drum over your lawn to flatten out bumps and divots from freeze-thaws of the winter. Lawn rolling may help prevent injuries because your children can easily hurt themselves by tripping over uneven ground while playing.

Use a rake to remove dead grass, and fertilize the lawn with a spring fertilizer. For dead lawn patches, heavily rake the area, lay down a thin layer of soil around the area, dispense some grass seed and cover the seed with another thin layer of soil. Water the patch frequently.

If you want to plant a vegetable garden, now is the time to rake or till the soil, and add some new soil and fertilizer in preparation for the seeds or sprouts that will be planted later.

Or if you wanted to purchase a climbing frame or trampoline now is the time to do so! This gives you enough this to build your frame and have it up and ready for the children to play on in the better weather.

Remember to put your pruning and yard waste in paper bags, or put them in a compost pile in your garden, if you have one.

Please do not dispose of pesticides, fertilizers, or other chemicals down the drain! Take these items to a local garden shop, they may have a recycling program. If you want to use environmentally friendly pesticides, talk to your local gardening expert or do an internet search for products that suit your zone and the plants you grow.

With a little bit of planning you can prepare your garden to welcome the warmer weather and have fun with your family at the same time!