Most gardeners await the spring season with the greatest of anticipation.

We watch patiently for those first bulbs and perennials to spring forth into our gardens.

As the last of the snow melts and the days become longer, we know that soon we will be out cultivating our gardens.

On the first warm day of spring, I like to take all of my houseplants outside to be washed and transplanted. Over the winter months, many plants accumulate dust on their leaves which inhibits healthy growth. When indoor air circulation is low, plants often become susceptible to picking up a bug or disease.

To clean tropical plants, I use a mild solution of organic soap and warm water to gently wipe the plant’s foliage.

Once the plant’s foliage is clean and dry, I spray an all-natural solution of neem oil (my first choice for almost all plant care problems). Neem oil, derived from the pressed seed of the Azadiracta indica A. Juss (the neem tree), has been used for medicinal purposes and pest control in India for thousands of years. Neem oil is a safe, all-natural product that functions as a repellent, insecticide and fungicide.

It is also used to prevent root rot.

When transplanting tropicals, use a good-quality sterilized soil rich in nutrient value.

To pot up a plant, select a container that is at least one or two sizes larger than the existing planter. Though more mature houseplants may not require potting on, they may have exhausted the nutrients in the existing soil. In this case, it is a good idea to replenish the soil yearly.

After the last snowfall, remove winter protection from your evergreens and mulch from your rose bushes.

To prevent a host of turf problems, consider aerating your lawn. Aeration is the removal of small plugs of lawn which helps break up compacted areas allowing for moisture and air to circulate to the root system.

My favourite spring project is bringing out my home garden planner and photos from the previous year, reading over my notes on what worked, what has outgrown their home and, of course, adding new inspiration into what I would like to create this year.

This spring, enjoy spending time enriching your garden to be enjoyed for the upcoming summer months. With a little planning and preparation (and hopefully good weather, too) we can enjoy inspirational moments nurturing, cultivating and growing in our gardens.