It’s time to clean up and cut back your garden for spring

How to cut your perennials and get your soil ready

SAN ANTONIO – Our last average freeze according to our KSAT Weather Authority is Feb. 24.

And while we may have a light freeze early Sunday morning in parts of our viewing area, you should be good to cut back your native perennials since the cold front will be brief and light.

Planting season will be here before you know it in a matter of weeks.

Here’s what you need to know:

Things you’ll need

Some favorite garden tools to use include a handy spade, a pruner, loppers, mini electric trimmers and electric weed eater.

I also use my small electric tiller all the time. I used it so much that my seven-year-old tiller died this year and I had to replace it. It had many more miles on it than the average tiller, so it was time. I use my tiller to make new flower or vegetable beds, or to till up weeds in areas of my yard that are mulched.

I bought this one on Amazon. It is lightweight for me, and was able to put it together myself in under 10 minutes.

For any additional tools I need, I head over to Rainbow Gardens on 8516 Bandera Road.

When you prune back your dead native perennials, don’t be afraid to really get in there. Mine were so overgrown and dead from our last hard freeze that I had to use a weed eater to cut them almost to the ground.

If you aren’t sure how short to cut your perennials back, most can be cut down to the ground or left three to six inches, especially if they are woody like lantana or certain salvias.

Let’s talk soil

Good soil means a great garden. Soil adds nutrients, organic matter, air, and water to your plant’s roots.

You want to prep your soil two-to-three weeks before planting, so now would be a great time to add compost to existing beds.

Here are some quality composts to use:

  • Nature’s Creation organic compost
  • Foxfarm Happy Frog soil conditioner
  • Landscaper’s Pride Soil Conditioner
  • Mushroom Compost

If you are making new beds, till up native soil at least a foot or so into the ground, and then add about three inches of compost.

For new beds, make sure you are planting in an area that gets plenty of sun.

About the Author

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

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