Now is the perfect time to prepare garden for spring. It’s a nice time to get a head start on things so that during the busy season of gardening, you won’t have extra work.
You might be the kind of person who cleaned everything up last fall after the vegetable garden was finished. However, I am not one of those people. I save the work for spring. We are at the end of our winter months and right before early spring starts, it’s time to get going. But how? Prepare the garden for spring by doing these things.
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1. Prune Shrubs & Trees
If you have any deciduous trees, ate winter or very early spring is the time of the year to prune them. Pruning a plant when it is dormant allows the plant to put it’s energy toward producing healthy new growth when the warmer spring temperatures emerge.
2. Get Tools In Order
Find all of your garden tools and get them cleaned up and ready. This includes getting any blades sharpened and checking hoses. Is there anything you need to replace or get fixed? Its a good idea to get gardening tools now instead of waiting until the minute they are needed.
3. General Garden Cleanup
If your garden isn’t completely covered by a mountain of snow, do some cleaning. Remove plant debris and put them into the compost. If there are any weeds that you can see, remove them now.
4. Set Up Compost Pile
If you don’t already have your own compost system set up, now is the time to make one. You can buy a ready-made compost bin or set up your own compost heap.
5. Get Soil Checked
As soon as possible, get a soil test done. This tells the type of soil you have as well as if you have poor soil or healthy soil. When you get the test results, this will give you time to make any soil amendments if needed, such as applying an organic fertilizer. Logan’s Labs is a great place to send a soil sample.
6. Maintain Structures
Do you have any fences, gates, or trellises that need to be fixed? Do that now before spring planting.
7. Create a Garden Layout
Do you know where you will plant vegetables yet? What about when you will plant? While the evenings are dark, you can plan your garden.
The book Carrots Love Tomatoes is a great book to help you with companion planting ideas.
To get a free garden layout planning sheet, fill out this form here:
8. Set Up Garden Beds
Once you know your garden layout, you can set up spring garden beds or any new planters you want. Maybe even build a new beds if you want raised beds. Raised garden beds are great if you have bad knees or a bad back. They are perfect for herb gardens as well.
9. Apply Mulch
Put wood chips down in your walking areas. Apply a layer of mulch over your garden if you are no-tilling. What can you do now to save you time in the busy season? Maybe just making a huge pile of straw or dead leaves next to the garden so you can easily grab them while planting your spring vegetables.
10. Start Seeds Indoors
While the ground may not be ready to plant, you can start long season vegetable plants, like onions or asparagus. I even like to plant one or two tomato plants with the hope that, just maybe, the frost will leave sooner than my average last frost date. Now is also the time of year to go through your seed packets and order any for next year’s garden. With the way things are going, it’s a smart idea to stay ahead of the game. Simple steps like this can ensure you will have what you need next spring.
BONUS: Plant Greens
As soon as possible, get some salad greens going. That way you can get a garden harvest as soon as possible!