It’s the middle of winter, and you may be busy shoveling out your driveway or just trying to stay warm. But now is the time to get your garden ready for spring! If you’re proactive and plan ahead, you can get your garden off to a roaring start when the weather gets warmer. Here are 5 great tips to get your garden ready for spring.
1. Make a Plan
It’s no use doing any kind of garden prep if you don’t have a plan. So while it’s still cold outside, sit down and plan out your garden. What types of vegetables are you going to grow this season? Are you going to modify your existing flower beds or make any new ones? Are you going to build any structures this year, like raised beds, or install fencing? Plot out everything you intend to do in your garden right now, and you’ll have a plan to keep you on track in spring and beyond. Factor in just what you want to grow, what companion plants will help your vegetables thrive, and what natural control methods you’re going to use for common pests like tomato hornworm.
2. Clean Up Garden Beds
Take advantage of warm winter days, when there is no snow on the ground, to do some basic garden bed maintenance. Clear out any poles or stakes you used to shore up last year’s crops, and set them aside for later. Rake up any leaves you missed last fall, and toss them in your compost pile. Remove the stalks of dead annual plants and vegetables, and any weeds that have persisted in your garden beds through the winter. The more work you do now, the easier it will be to start planting in the spring.
3. Prep Your Equipment
Don’t wait until spring rolls around to get all of your gardening gear in good order. Organize, test, and maintain all of your gardening equipment while it is still cold outside. Sharpen any dull blades, change spark plugs and oil in power equipment, and buy any tools or items you’ll need for gardening this spring. A little time spent in the garden shed now will ensure that your equipment isn’t slowing you down when the weather warms up.
4. Turn the Compost Pile
You probably haven’t given your compost pile that much attention since fall yard cleanup, right? A little TLC right now will help ensure you’ve got some “black gold” ready to enrich your garden beds this spring. Pick a nice winter day and shovel everything out of the bin. Then, toss it back in, and mix some blood or bone meal in as you layer materials back into the bin. A good turn will help speed up decomposition in your bin, and ensure you have a great supply of compost on hand this spring.
5. Start Seeds Indoors
Why wait until spring to start gardening? You can really get a jump on vegetable and flower gardens by starting seeds indoors right now. Starting your own seeds in the winter will ensure you have healthy, vigorous plants ready for the garden when warmer weather begins. You’ll also save a ton of money you’d otherwise spend buying plants that someone else grew from seedlings.
It may be the dead of winter, but that’s no reason to sit idle; you should be getting ready for spring gardening! Follow these tips and see our 10 other important things to do in the fall and winter garden, and your garden will be in great shape when spring rolls around. Use the wet weather as a chance to learn how to control slugs naturally and what to do about common vegetable garden problems like blossom end rot.
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