During the winter, many gardeners forget about their garden due to the cold weather and lack of greenery. However, it is important to plan your garden for Spring in order to ensure a productive and flourishing garden that you can enjoy. Winter is an excellent opportunity for you to plan out your ideas, as gardening is an endeavor that requires careful planning and preparation. Below are some tips to help you prepare your garden for Spring.
1. Plan out your garden
Winter is a great time to start planning out your garden layout for spring. It can be a fun experience picking out what to plant for your Spring garden. After you have decided which vegetables and flowers to grow, you can start by ordering seeds from local seed growers. It is helpful to draw and label a diagram of the various kinds of crops you plan to grow. Flowers are a popular option for spring planting, their bright blooms evoking themes of renewal and abundance. We recommend displaying flowers in our new cascading garden beds, which offer a graceful configuration ideal for planting both deep-rooted plants and those with shallower depths.
Make sure you take into account relevant information such as maturity date, companion planting, and optimal growth conditions. Do research to see what plants are compatible with your hardiness zone and what can be planted together. This is also a time for you to reflect on the previous year’s shortcomings and successes so that you can improve upon your mistakes. You can be a little more sustainable by planting vegetables that you enjoy eating and cooking to avoid food waste.
2. Extend your growing season
There are several methods for you to extend your growing season, including using cold frames, containers, or raised garden beds. A cold frame is a transparent frame made from glass or plastic that protects plants from cold weather while letting in sunlight. You can either make a DIY cold frame or purchase them online from a reputable vendor. It can be placed atop a raised garden bed, which will allow the soil to warm up faster. If you have decided to use these techniques, you should plan accordingly and start purchasing. This is the ideal time to install new garden beds or purchase pots.
3. Prepare the soil
Once the coldest days of the year are behind you, you should prepare the soil for Spring planting. Use a spade or tiller to loosen up compacted soil. Perlite can be used to improve aeration. Reenergize your soil by adding compost or soil amendments, which can be determined by conducting soil tests. If you have a heavy clay soil, add compost to improve nutrient content and moisture retention. Compost improves soil quality by enriching it with essential nutrients and stifles plant diseases and pests.
We recommend raised garden beds for the beginner garden, as they allow you to control the soil quality and reduce strenuous tasks associated with planting in the ground. If you have back problems or dislike physical work, consider investing in raised garden beds or planters. You should also consider raised garden beds if your native soil has subpar composition. If you own a raised garden bed, you will need to replenish soil that has been lost by adding material and blending it with the existing soil. Make sure the soil is sterile and weed-free.
4. Start seeds indoors
You can begin sowing specific seeds indoors to get an early start and grow more vegetables, especially if you have a shorter growing season. By starting your seeds inside, you can transplant them outside once the weather warms up. Although some gardeners hesitate to start seeds indoors because they do not want to spend money on expensive equipment, there are some low cost solutions available. You can buy a seed starting tray or even make your own using biodegradable materials, such as egg cartoons, egg shells, and newspapers. Some seeds that can be started indoors include broccoli, cabbage, kale, lettuce, and tomatoes.
5. Clear out weed, debris, and mulch
Clean up your garden by removing debris and weeds from your yard in preparation for Spring. Pull up weeds, maintain garden paths and remove dead annuals and dead growth from perennials from your garden beds. Wait until your soil has dried up before pulling up weeds to avoid damaging the soil structure. Pick up fallen branches and dead leaves that have accumulated from the ground. Do not compost the weeds, which can sprout back up in your garden later. Winter is a good time to prune your shrubs and bushes by removing dead or diseased growth.
Basic garden tools such as pruners, garden shears, and hand rakes will facilitate your spring garden clean up. Maintain garden tools by sharpening or cleaning them, and inspect them for rust. Fully disinfect them to remove soil and bacteria. Purchase new tools to replace any that are in poor condition. Essential garden tools that every gardener should own, regardless of skill level, include a shovel, garden fork, trowel, clippers, and trellises. If you have a patio, wash patio furniture by rinsing with a hose and sweep the deck and porch.
6. Start a compost system at home
Quality compost at garden centers can be quite expensive. Consider setting up a composting system at home to cut down on costs and food waste. Composting offers many benefits to gardeners from both personal and environmental standpoints, including enhancing soil structure, increasing airflow and water retention, and reducing greenhouse gasses. Although beginners often avoid home composting due to the stench and hassle, these problems can be easily fixed. Vego Garden has a worm composter that provides an odorless, easy maintenance experience, and pairs nicely with our raised garden bed products.
7. Decide on mulch and fertilizer
You should decide on what mulch and fertilizer you will need for your plants once Spring arrives. It is important to find a source of mulch so that you have enough time to accomplish all your other tasks. While mulch is often ignored, it provides many benefits including pest deterrence, erosion prevention, and moisture retention. Decide on the material, which is commonly grass clippings, straw or hay, and chopped leaves, and where you can purchase them locally. Also decide on the types of fertilizer you will be using, matching different plants with their corresponding products, depending on their nutrient needs.
8. Maintain fences, trellises, and gates
Repeated exposure to winter weather can erode your fences, leading to maintenance issues including cracked paint, rotted wood, or rusted metal. Maintain the structural integrity of your yard by making sure these structures are repaired and are working properly. Replace your fences with new material, and scrape, prime, and paint or stain them if necessary.