It’s safe to say that most of us are ready for spring to make its warm entrance in a few weeks. There is no doubt the winter blues can take a toll on anyone, even your plants. Perhaps some of your perennials have gone dormant for the winter, or your annuals have ended their life cycles. No matter what stage your garden is in, there are certainly a few things you can do to prepare your garden for spring!
There are plenty of ways you can prepare your garden for spring before your plant babies begin to awake after their long winter slumber. Below are some tasks you can do to get a head start on spring gardening and welcome the warmer weather.
It’s time to get those hands dirty again…
6 Things to Do to Prepare Your Garden for Spring
1. Clean-up & weeding
Since the weather is already getting a little more bearable, you can begin cleaning up the effects of winter on your garden. That could mean cleaning debris and leaves from flower beds, trimming or weeding, depending on your garden and climate. This organic material can be added to your compost pile and eventually make its way back to your garden as nutrient-rich fertilizer! (See Geranium Rozanne’s blog post for directions on building your own composter if you don’t have one yet!)
This is also a good time to consider re-edging your garden beds if they’ve become overgrown and irregular since last season. Just remember that young perennial roots may be starting to push through the soil, so ditch the rake and work with your hands to prevent any damage to your developing plants.
2. Cleaning & maintenance of your garden tools
How many of us really take the time to make sure that our tools are cleaned and in tip-top shape when we hang them
up at the end of the season? Before you break ground for spring, it’s a good idea to do a thorough deep clean of all your garden tools to ensure they’re free of any bugs or diseases that can damage your plants. Try a diluted solution (8:1) of water and bleach to soak your tools for sanitization before rinsing and drying them.
This is also a good time to sharpen and oil any tools that are needing some revitalizing. The better condition your tools are in at the beginning of the season, the less time you’ll need to devote to them later—and the easier it will be to spend time planting and maintaining your garden!
3. Mulch and fertilizer
Whether you subscribe to the “till” or “no till” trains of thought for garden bed preparation, you should always consider adding fertilizer to rejuvenate nutrient-depleted soil. After the fall and winter, your garden beds may be densely-packed and compacted by the cold weather and lacking the nutrients your plants depend on to thrive. Consider testing your soil pH and adding amendments suited to your soil type and nutrient-rich compost to help your beds flourish!
You may want to revitalize your garden space by spreading new mulch around your garden beds to retain moisture, discourage weeds and enhance their eye-appeal. You can also begin fertilizing your plants again as spring arrives to give them the nutrients they need to kickstart a great growing season.
4. Prepare indoor/outdoor plants
Do you have any tender perennials that you’ve brought inside during the winter months? You can begin pruning these plants to get them into shape and spur new growth before taking them back outside for spring. Are you planning to grow any new plants from seed this season? This is a great time to begin growing them in small pots in the warm indoors so they’ll be ready for planting in spring!
5. Revive garden decor and furniture
If it’s still a little too early to start planting, those in cold or winter zones can stay busy dusting off the garden decor items that spent the cold months in hiding. Begin cleaning or replacing outdoor furniture as needed so the space is ready for spring. Adding colourful garden art is another lovely way to add pep to your plot before the bulbs break out again.
How are your fences, gates and trellises doing after the harsh winter weather? Looking worn and needing a spruce-up? Take this time to do repairs and repaint/finish to keep these structures looking as fresh and inviting as the flowers which will soon be sprouting up around them.
Consider installing a rain barrel near your garden to provide an environmentally-friendly natural water source for your plants. This not only cuts down on your household water consumption, but also spares your garden from chemicals and other additives often found in tap water.
This is also a good time to re-stock any garden supplies you may be running low on and build any supports or cages to help your plants soar to great heights once your garden is in full bloom!
6. Choose new spring garden plants/design
My favorite part of the new gardening season is refreshing the previous year’s garden plan to add new colors, fragrances and excitement to our outdoor space! Once you decide what you want your garden to look like, keep a planting calendar to know when you need to begin digging! You can start planting summer bulbs if you’re feeling really motivated, or you can simply start the planning process for your garden’s next go-round. It’s important to keep in mind the optimum times to get each plant into the ground according to your Hardiness Zone to ensure your garden reaches its full potential. Take a look at these garden design ideas for inspiration.
The best part about spring is a fresh start in the garden! Hopefully these tips help you prepare the garden for spring. If you want more helpful gardening reminders, be sure to join Rozanne’s Inner Circle. Enjoy the sunshine and good luck with a great growing season!