5 Tips for Preparing Soil for Spring

Published on
March 21, 2023 at 4:45:42 PM PDT March 21, 2023 at 4:45:42 PM PDTst, March 21, 2023 at 4:45:42 PM PDT

You may not think there’s much to do in your lawn and garden this time of year while you’re waiting to roll out the lawn mower for the first time, but there’s several things you can do right now to get your garden off to a great start. To ensure a great season with more colorful flowers, tasty crops and a healthy thick lawn, check off these jobs below. 

Add Compost To Your Gardens

This is the perfect time to incorporate a quality composted manure into your vegetable gardens or flower beds. By adding a quality compost, such as Organic Oma-Gro, it will improve:

  • Overall health of your soil
  • Aeration and drainage
  • Nutrient uptake and root vigor
  • Flowers will be larger and more prolific
  • Vegetables will be much more productive

One word of caution - never use low quality manure that hasn’t been professionally composted for many months, as it could burn tender roots. 

“Top Dress” Your Lawn with Soil

Nothing is more aggravating than dealing with a rough lawn full of low spots and holes. It makes mowing more of a challenge and hitting a low spot can scalp the grass causing thin spots in the lawn, which in turn allow weeds to take over. Here are some important steps to do in early spring before the first mowing:

  • Create a smooth level lawn
  • Use Earl May Premium Top Soil to fill low spots and any deeper holes
  • Top dressing areas with less than ¾’’ of soil allows the existing grass will survive underneath and grow up through the soil
  • Deeper areas where soil was added should be overseeded 

Address Soil Compaction

Compacted soils can be the culprit behind a lot of gardening issues including:

  • Thin lawns
  • Poor asparagus beds
  • Small onions and potatoes

Fortunately, something can be done, and early spring and fall are the best times to treat compacted soils and bring your lawn and garden back to life. Use Earth Right Soil Conditioner to treat lawns that are thin due to compaction. Lawns treated in the spring and fall with Earth Right will fill in and be thicker and healthier.

It’s very easy to apply – just hook to a hose and spray. We call it a “lawn aerifier in a bottle.” You can also spray asparagus and rhubarb beds with Earth Right to improve the poorly drained soils that cause thin stems and poor production. 

In your vegetable gardens, incorporate Structure Soil Conditioner prior to planting root crops such as potatoes, onions and radishes and they will be larger and more uniform. 

Mulch The Soil Around Young Trees 

Bare soil and grass are the enemy of young trees. Trees by nature are best grown in conditions that duplicate the forest floor - layers of organic matter cover the soil with few plants and grasses competing for water and nutrients. Here are some tips:

  • Eliminate turf grass out a minimum of 3 feet from the trunk of young trees that are less than 10 years old
  • Maintain a 3’’ layer of shredded wood mulch to create the ideal environment for trees to flourish in 
  • Add new mulch each spring to maintain the 3’’ depth. Be sure to pull it back a little so it isn’t 3’’ deep around the trunk. This helps prevent possible bark damage from field mice. 
  • Fertilize young trees (and shrubs) in early spring with our timed-release Garden and Plant Food Plus or Plant Start Root Stimulant if the tree was planted the previous year. 

Check your Soil PH 

Not all plants thrive in the same soil conditions - even if they share the same zone hardiness for your area. Soil PH is an important factor when planning for a new landscape or deciding which type of shade tree to plant. Soil PH can even impact the performance of garden crops and small fruits:

  • Blueberries require a low soil PH to grow (between 4.5 to 5.5 on the PH scale) 
  • Certain oak trees, require a high PH (above 7.5) 

Growing certain trees may be more of a challenge and special measures may need to be taken to keep the trees healthy. Fortunately, it’s very easy to test for PH yourself using a home Soil PH Test Kit

  • Take several tests to verify results 
  • Be sure to check each area where you’ll be planting as the PH can vary from front yard to back yard in some cases 
  • Once you know the results you can check to see if your plants are best suited for your soil 

Note: You can grow plants outside the recommended PH range, but you may need to amend the soil to either raise the PH (using Hydrated Lime) or lower the PH (using Garden Sulphur).