7 Spring Gardening Tips from Prospect Park Alliance
Spring has arrived, and here in Prospect Park, that means plants and flowers galore! Feeling inspired by the flora? We’ve got gardening tips from Prospect Park Alliance’s horticulture crew to help you beautify your surroundings, whether it is your community garden, sidewalk tree pit or other green space.
"The first step to a beautiful garden is to scout out the weeds early! You can disrupt the growth of weeds by densely planting your desired flora in its place. By densely planting, you will crowd out future weed growth from seeds or pieces of roots that may still remain in the soil."
Uriel Walker, Lakeside Assistant Gardener, Prospect Park Alliance
"Get your soil ready: preparing your soil for a spring garden should be done as early as possible. Minimize weeds by turning the soil and raking it level, and make certain to keep your planted beds well watered."
Marcia Wint, Associate Park Service Worker, NYC Parks
"When buying plants make sure to check if the plant has become pot (or root) bound, meaning, the roots have filled the potting container. This can inhibit the health of the plant when you replant it, so you should be sure to stimulate root growth by cutting into smaller roots before planting in the ground."
LJ Philp, Lakeside Lead Gardener, Prospect Park Alliance
"Before planting, 'root drench' your plants by dipping them in a combination of light fertilizer mix and water."
Frank Giacalone, Seasonal Assistant Gardner, Prospect Park Alliance
"When planting, first dig a hole twice the size of the plant’s root ball. Place the plant in the hole, and backfill with soil, tightly packing in until you can no longer add more."
Another one of Daniel’s planting tips? “Green side up!"
Daniel Clay, Gardener Level 2, NYC Parks
"Make sure to space new plants according to their expected future growth so they don’t crowd each other out! And water new plants generously: 'low and slow' imitates rainwater."
Allison Loux, Lakeside Assistant Gardener, Prospect Park Alliance
"Prune young trees and shrubs right after they bloom, once their flowers are spent. Pruning after blooms allows the plant to direct its energy towards leaves, roots, shoots and next year’s flowers. When pruning, look first for stems that are rubbing together and injuring one another, and second for crowded growth that could be thinned to allow better air circulation and exposure to sunlight."
Ronen Gamil, Horticulture Supervisor, Prospect Park Alliance
Want to plant in the park? Join one of the Alliance's volunteer crews.