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Gardening season is just beginning, and we have the tips to help your garden flourish all spring and summer long.

Whether you've had a garden for years or are planting your first one this season, now's the time to start preparing your garden, This will help increase the odds that you'll have a thriving garden and will also help you take care of some tasks now before the temperatures get warmer.

Our REALTORS® live and work in the Midland, MI area and know it well. They suggest these steps to start your garden prep now and give you the best chance of success:

  • Clean up your tools and prepare them for the season.
    Whether you keep your gardening tools in a shed, garage, or another area, make sure everything is clean and ready to go for the new gardening season. Start by cleaning off any dirt, rust, or residue that's leftover from last year. Sharpen your tool blades with a mill file and add some penetrating oil to prevent rust. Lightly sand any wooden handles with fine-grit sandpaper before rubbing a small amount of linseed oil into the wood. Put everything up neatly so you know where it is and can easily find specific tools when you need them throughout the gardening season.

  • Replenish your supplies.
    Buy any new supplies you'll need for spring gardening, including fertilizer, soil amendments, and mulch. Also, buy any materials you'll need to make structures, such as tomato cages and raised beds.

  • Look for inspiration.
    Visit local home improvement stores and nurseries to see what plants they have in stock, as well as benches, garden statues, and more items that can help spruce up your gardening space. Or visit a local botanical garden for a dose of inspiration and to see what types of plants thrive in the Midland area.

  • Prune deciduous trees and shrubs.
    Walk around your yard and look at your deciduous trees and shrubs to see which ones need shaping up. Make sure to not remove more than a third of any given plant - except for dead areas - since it could put too much stress on the plant. If you have trees to prune, consider hiring a professional since the job can be dangerous.

  • Prepare your soil.
    Clean your garden to remove any dead organic matter or weeds. Loosen the soil, which has probably become compacted, by tilling or turning it, and then add compost and amendments.

  • Go ahead and plant trees and shrubs.
    Plant new trees and shrubs you'd like to add so they can become established before hot weather causes stress. Water your new plantings well, settle the soil around the roots, and keep the soil moist. If you'd like to move a plant you had last season to a new location, it's also a good time to take care of that task.

  • Add mulch.
    Add a thick layer of mulch around your plants, spreading it up to a couple of inches from the base of your plants. This will help suppress weeds as well as reduce soil erosion from heavy rain and insulate the soil from heat as temperatures rise during the summer.

Contact Ayre/Rhinehart REALTORS® if you're thinking about a move and would like to see Midland homes for sale. Buying a home doesn't have to be a daunting experience, and with our team navigating the ins and outs of the marketplace, you'll have a smooth home buying experience.

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