Early Bird Gardening Checklist
Spring is just a few weeks away, which is not soon enough! However, with all the time indoors we have ahead of us, we have a chance to get our gardening plan in order. The last frost dictates when we can start planting, but there are a lot of steps we have to take before we can put anything in the ground and refresh our lawn with our own garden accessories. Here's the early bird gardening checklist so we're ready to plant when the weather is ready for us.
Check Your Tools
Make sure everything is clean, sharp and in working order before you get your hands dirty.
Fall and winter leave behind quite a mess of dead plants and debris. While cleaning all of this away makes your garden and yard look nice and easy to work with, it also reduces the potential for disease and insect problems.
For most flowering plants, it's best to prune before spring. When you start to see a little bit of growth at the base of your flower or plant, it's a good time to cut them back.
Replace Gardening Supports
Winter can be rough on wood. Any wood used to support the garden may be worn out, warped or rotting. This includes fences, trellises, or wood used for raised beds.
If you want to expand your garden, this is a good time to plan where you want to add a spot for new flowers or vegetables so you can prepare the soil all at once.
Consider Creating A Compost
As a gardener, this will save you time, money and the environment. You'll be returning some of your garbage like fruit peels, coffee grounds and dryer lint to the earth and you'll always have a fresh supply of organic matter to keep your garden thriving.
Till The Soil
Spring is the best time to till the soil, but it has to be warm enough and dry enough to till. It should be about 60°F. To determine if the soil is ready, squeeze a handful and if it falls apart, it's dry enough. If you don't have a tiller, you can rent one or dig up the dirt in your garden, 6" to 12" down. You'll want to mix the deep soil with the soil on top and move it to another spot in the garden. For this, you'll need a shovel, a garden fork and something to move the dirt like a wheelbarrow. Once you've tilled the soil, add a layer of organic matter (compost or fertilizer) and let it sit for a few days.
Staking isn't very pretty, but it'll make your plants pretty. It keeps your plants upright and relatively safe from falling over and breaking. Anything that grows over two feet should be staked. Some vegetable plants like tomatoes or peppers even produce more if they are staked. Once you get your plants staked, you can line your walks with lighted stakes and decor to make your garden beautiful well into the evening.
We definitely don't want weeds in our gardens and one way to prevent them from ruining our flawless flower beds is by laying down mulch. It also helps with water retention. Just remember not to mulch all the way up the base of the plant or tree or it may rot and die.
These are just the steps to get your garden ready for the spring and summer. It's a lot of work but once you see the blooming flowers and plump fruits and vegetables to serve at your cookouts, you'll be glad you got started and got your hands dirty early.
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