Once the snow has melted and the leaves begin to bud, it’s time to plant your garden. Here’s what you need to know to get your garden growing.
Springtime is a time of rebirth – the trees begin to bud and early flowers pop up in the flower beds. It’s also a good time to get your tools and other gear ready for spring gardening. Even if the ground isn’t completely thawed from the cold winter months, you can still work on your garden. Here are some things to do in the spring.
Whether you’ve ordered seeds from catalogs or online, or purchased them in a gardening or home improvement store, now is the time to get them started. Germinate seeds in an indoor greenhouse, or start them in small containers. Yogurt containers and take out drink cups make good seed starting vessels. Make sure they receive plenty of sunlight and are kept in a warm spot.
Clean Out the Potting Shed
Whether it’s a potting shed, storage shed or just some storage bins on the porch, now is the time to sort through them and decide what you will need. Inspect pots for cracks or nicks, and clean them so they are ready to go when you need them. Hold onto any broken or cracked terra cotta or other clay pots or shards – they can be used in the bottom of pots for filler or for extra drainage. Also go through any bottles of chemicals or fertilizers, and pitch any that need to be disposed of (check with your local municipal for safe disposal of chemicals).
Clean and Sharpen Tools
Inspect your gardening tools and make sure they are free of dirt and debris, and are clean and dry. Rub the metal parts with olive oil to lubricate them and keep them free of debris.
Test Your Soil
Know what you will be dealing with by testing your soil now. Test kits can be purchased at most gardening and home center stores. Once you find out the results, plan for adding nutrients as needed, or decide where certain plants might thrive.
Review Last Year’s Garden Results
If you kept a gardening journal or other notes, review them to determine which plants succeeded or failed, as well as last frosts dates, seed start dates, etc.
Plan Your Garden Plots
Using graph paper or a gardening notebook, sketch our your garden plot and make a list of plants you wish to grow. Based on the sun requirements and height and width of each plant, make a drawing of where you want to place each plant. Be sure to include any plants from the previous year that you want to move or keep in the same place.
Gardening is not just about planting plants into the ground; there are several tasks to be completed prior to putting your shovel into the ground for the first time. Use these as a starting point to get your garden and tools in shape for the coming season.