6 Tips To Prep Your Garden For Spring

Start implementing these tips from local landscape experts now to ensure your garden will be in tip-top shape for the season.
A Woman Using Shovel To Plant A Small Tree In The Garden


How does your garden grow? If you get started now on your Bergen County backyard, it’ll be blossoming beautifully just in time for spring’s first bloom, whether you’re a gardening newbie who’s making it your mission to beautify your yard in 2023 or you’re a long-time lawn expert who puts a lot of work and effort into your lawn each year.

Here are six ways to prep your garden for spring (P.S.: It starts with a good foundation of soil and fertilizer!), with tips from Bergen-based landscaping and horticultural pros:

Clean your garden. Spring cleaning should be done inside and outside. With a pair of gardening gloves and some hedges, walk through your garden and yard and prune any debris, weeds or dead or wet leaves. Wash all your planters so they don’t get bugs, and scour your lawn for mold and fungus, which pose risks to a healthy lawn, according to Borst Landscaping & Design in Allendale. Take inventory of your gardening supplies and pottery so you know what you might need to replace (some things you’ll want to have on hand are potting soils, weekly fertilizers, clippers and trowels). If you can’t do all the cleaning yourself (leave those large, wilted branches for the experts!), ask your landscaper or gardener how they can help.

Prepare the soil. You can start preparing your soil once the frost has lifted (you can check the last frost dates for your town at the Old Farmer’s Almanac, but the 2023 average for Bergen County is April 7). Winter hardens the soil, so you’ll need to loosen it up before you start planting. Dig about eight inches deep to help loosen the topsoil and allow for more air and water to reach the roots, according to Ridgewood-based Goffle Brook Farms.

Build a protective layer. Mulch will create a protective barrier on top of the soil which helps conserve water, reduce the growth of weeds and protect plants, says Borst Landscaping & Design. Mulch also helps plants thrive, especially if you add nutrients to the mulch or soil.

Fertilize the soil. Fertilizing sooner than later ensures the plants will be healthy as they grow back in. To do this, Chris James Landscaping in Waldwick recommends digging little holes two feet apart from the drip line, making sure the holes are two inches deep, and filling them up with fertilizer.

Start mowing. Mow your lawn as soon as it needs a trim, which can be as early as…right now. Grass blades do best when you cut no more than a third of the blade’s length at a time, according to Almost Perfect Landscaping in Paramus, so don’t wait until the grass is overgrown.

Make room. Whether you’re using pots, boxes or an open bed of dirt, seeds should be given ample space to grow and absorb water and nutrients; ideally you’ll leave about 2 to 3 feet per plant.

Need more help with your spring garden prep? Watch this video by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station of Rutgers University, which explains how to start a New Jersey garden from scratch or how to make improvements to your pre-existing one.

What else will you be doing to prep your garden for spring? Tell us on Instagram @bergenmagnj!

Categories: Bergen Health & Life, Home & Style Features, Homepage Features