Gardening Tips and Projects

Home Improvement

Spring Gardening Projects and Tips

Orange County is getting more vibrant every day with flowers blooming from San Juan Capistrano to Mission Viejo and everywhere in-between. As the weather starts to heat up, it’s the perfect time to start a fun new home improvement project. What better way to relax and beautify your home than with a spring gardening project? There are all sorts of improvements and decorations you could do for your garden this spring. 

Preparing Your Garden

Before you plant anything new, you'll need to til the ground you're working with. The first step in this process is going to be to clean out the area where you'll be planting your garden. This includes the removal of debris, weeds, rocks and pests that have made their way into your garden over winter. You'll also want to prune back any existing plants to give them the opportunity to bloom once more. If you're planting for the first time, be sure to find an area that has good sunlight and ample space for the foliage you'll be incorporating into your garden. 

The next step to the planting process is the most important as you'll want to make sure that the soil that you are planting in has the proper nutrients. You can add manure or fertilizer to the soil which helps to give the soil its moisture back after being packed down all winter. Since we live in OC, this may not be the case for your soil, which is why you should test your soil before you plant. If you are going the potted plant route, which is just as fun and practical, then you’ll need to buy and mix your own soil. Keep in mind, different plants take different types of soil so make sure that you properly prepare the area for each species. Once your soil and your selection is set, you're ready to begin planting!

Having a hard time selecting your plants? Here are some fun gardening project ideas to keep in mind. 

Spring Gardening Projects

Grow an herb garden – You can do this in a long planter in a window box, inside, or in the garden, depending on the type of space restrictions you have. If you have a big backyard, you can let herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano and Basil grow freely. Since these are robust herbs, they’ll often times make it through the winter. Basil takes a little more attention, as well as herbs like mint, parsley and cilantro, but they are manageable if you plan on using them, and usually need replanting year after year.
Build raised garden bed – If you know your way around a hardware store and you aren’t afraid of a hammer and nails or some power tools, you might want to consider building your ownraised garden beds. If you don’t feel like building your own though, you can probably find them preassembled at your local nursery or hardware store in the gardening section.

From there you can plant a vegetable garden with tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce or other veggies that thrive in Southern California and even throw in some sunflowers and other perennial flowers. If you decide to go the veggie route, make sure you release some lady bugs and mantis in the area as natural predators to help out with any pests that might come for your garden.
Add color to your landscape with perennial flowers – It's always important to keep in mind the landscape you're planting in. For instance, the lack of rainfall and scarcity of water throughout Southern California calls for more drought resistant selections.  If you're really trying to conserve you could consider planting succulents and replacing your lawn with gravel in order to cut down on water use. But if you decide to plant flowers, perennials that are resilient and able to withstand multiple seasons are a great option as well and you won't need to replace them year after year. 


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