Preparing your garden during the spring will make for a more productive year. The breezy spring air brings with it a list of tasks that will tidy up your garden. If you’re eager to get outside, this is the perfect time to spend some a weekend rehabilitating your garden from the winter months. These chores will help you get your garden in shape for the growing season.
Watch Out for Frost
March and April can still yield frost at night or even during the day. If the weather forecast is calling for frost, be sure to shield your plants. Cloches are a good option for protection, and can warm up soil to prepare for sowing.
Remove leaves and other debris from your flowerbeds, lawn, fountains, and ponds. Clean your gutters so the water doesn’t douse your plants below. Remove any dead wood or suckers from trees and shrubs. These tasks will make your landscape look more appealing and foster a safe environment for plants to grow.
Use Leftover Seeds
Keep your seeds for flowers and vegetables from last season. Plant the seeds in trays and place them near a window with sunlight to get a jumpstart on the growing season. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors for their leftover seeds if there are anything you want to add.
Hunt for Garden Pests
Hibernating pests can cause loads of trouble during the growing season. Snails, aphids, and slugs like to hide out in perennial plants during the winter. Clean out last year’s pots to prevent larvae from feeding on plant roots. If you have a serious pest problem, consider enlisting the help of a professional.
Clean Your Tools
In order to preserve your tools and get the most out of them, give them a thorough clean and sharpen before summer sets in. Cleaning tools will save you money in the long run, and helps protect against bacteria that can be damaging to your plants. A sharpened tool will cut more efficiently and improve overall performance.
Test the Soil Condition
There is a timeless test that seasoned gardeners use to ensure their soil is dry enough to be worked. Pick up a handful of and form it into ball. If the ball is easily broken when dropped from a few feet, the soil is dry enough to begin digging. If the ball retains it shape or is difficult to pull apart without large clumps, the soil is still too wet to dig.
Inspect Your Mulch
Organic mulches have likely decomposed and experienced damaging weather during the off-season. Lightly dust the mulch with a metal rake and level out your garden beds. Take a ruler and measure the depth of the mulch, which should be somewhere between 2-4 inches.
Build a Compost Area
Purchase an already-made compost bin or create your own with wood. This will give you a place to put garden waste, and you can use compost on your plants afterwards. Mix clippings, papers, and prunings and use a garden fork monthly to keep everything aerated.