(NC) Rising temperatures mean your garden is ready to be replenished and renewed for the season ahead. Here are four essential gardening tips to get your greenery looking fresh and ready:

1. Organize and clean out your garden: Get rid of any dead plants that will not rebloom in order to make space for new ones to grow.

2. Replace the soil: It’s important to replace the soil in your garden before planting new plants, especially after long and harsh winters. Replacing old soil with new soil provides your plants with all the nutrients they need to grow.

3. Choose pet-friendly plants: You can still have a beautiful garden even if you have a pet, just be sure to include ones that are safe. According to PetSmart veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Freeman, specific plants can be toxic and very dangerous for pets. Some of these include daffodils, mistletoe, poinsettia, tulips and lilies. Different plants are poisonous for different pets, so be sure to do your research.

4. Apply mulch: An easy and functional way to make your garden look great is to apply a fresh layer of mulch, which can include wood chips, straw and finished compost. Applying mulch helps your garden retain moisture in the soil; it slowly breaks down over time, contributing to soil health.

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