Minnesota winters can be intense. Extremely cold temperatures, wicked wind storms, and excessive amounts of snowfall are always expected. With winter weather dominating almost a third of the year, it can easily seem like it’s never-ending. But we are in the home stretch. With warmer temperatures already showing up, it’s clear to see that spring is on the way.
The winter provides a chance to dream, research, and draw up new plans for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. As warmer weather looms, it’s important to begin putting those spring landscaping projects into action.
Proper spring planning means you can spend the season on the right foot instead of playing catch-up. Putting in the time now means getting to spend the summer months enjoying the fruits of your planning and labor.
Important Spring Landscaping Reminders
This time of year can bring with it some unpredictable weather; snow, rain, or sunshine are all possible during the Minnesota spring months. This oftentimes causes homeowners and business owners to put off their landscaping projects until the weather has evened itself out. However, if you follow a few considerations, there is no reason why you can’t start your spring landscaping sooner rather than later. There are probably plenty of homeowners near you considering the same thing, so if you plan to use a landscaping contractor, start now! It’s important to get them involved as early as possible.
The Last Frost
A late spring frost is the new garden’s enemy. While some plants can tolerate temperatures that go below freezing, new or un-established plants will not fare as well. To protect these plants, consider starting them in planters that can be moved indoors if a cold snap is expected. For larger plants that cannot be moved, covering or wrapping is an option to protect from frost.
Monitor Weather Conditions
Before beginning to plant your garden or start your landscaping projects, make sure to keep an eye on the long-range forecast. If a cold stretch or a late snowfall appears and takes out your garden, it will be very frustrating to watch all your hard work suddenly be undone. A general rule of thumb is to begin spring landscaping and planting when the expected temperatures remain above 45 to 50 degrees. In Minnesota, Mothers Day is considered to be a safe planting date.
Check Soil Temperature
Just because the air is warm, does not mean the ground is at the same warm temperature. It takes time for the soil to thaw and become a hospitable environment for new plants. Minnesota has a mixed bag of soil conditions. Across the Twin Cities metro, you’ll encounter anything from a peat-filled soil to sandy soil; each type will warm at different rates. An easy way to check is by placing a cooking thermometer about 2 inches into the soil.
Knowing Plant Hardiness
Plant hardiness refers to the plant’s ability to survive in various climate conditions. The scale ranges from 1 to 10, with the lower plant hardiness being more resilient in colder temperatures. Minnesota falls into a hardiness zone of 3 – 5 depending on the exact location.
Established hardy plants will be able to survive the spring temperature fluctuations and are more frost resistant than their less hardy counterparts. If you are looking to install a hardy plant this spring, it’s best to do so when the soil is above 45 degrees, this will allow the roots to establish.
How to Begin Spring Landscaping
Although you may not be able to start any large planting projects until the average temperature stays consistent, there is still plenty of work to be done to get a start on your spring landscaping.
As the snow melts it’s a great time to cut back any perennials left standing over the winter. If you have shrubs that flower after June 1st, early spring is a great time to prune and shape those. Next, clean up the debris leftover from the fall. Tree branches may have fallen in winter storms, and leftover leaves, plant debris can be removed from garden beds and disposed or composted on site. To lessen weed pressure in garden beds, you can apply a pre-emergent weed control. You’ll find it under a variety of trade names such as “weed preventer” or there are organic options such as corn meal.
Getting a head start on these maintenance projects means when the appropriate weather finally arrives you can dive headfirst into the rest of your landscaping plans.
Trusted Spring Landscaping Services
Landscape projects can be extremely labor-intensive and full of intricate work. There is a lot of work that needs to be put in before you can finally relax and enjoy what has been created. Being overwhelmed with the whole process is very common, and oftentimes deters homeowners or business owners from even starting the project in the first place. But the project doesn’t need to be completed alone.
If you’re located in the greater Twin Cities, MN metro area, we can help. Ground One has been serving the greater Twin Cities area since 1989. Over the years we have built a reputation of trust and excellence in our work. No project is too big or too small. If you are interested in designing, building, or maintaining a project in your landscape, we are here to help. Together we can build something beautiful.