7 Garden Prep Tasks
7 tasks to do in the garden right now in preparation for spring.
With recent 60-degree temperatures, gardeners are no doubt looking forward to watching their plants grow, and this is the right time to start preparing.
To ensure a smooth transition from winter to spring, the following 7 gardening tasks should be completed:
- Check all of your plants for any snow or ice damage. If you find broken tree branches or damaged bushes, it is important to trim off the damaged areas to encourage new plant growth.
- Clean up dead or dying plant debris and leaves from last season. Wet, matted-down leaves can smother emerging perennials. Cleaning up debris will create a healthy planting area for your existing plants and any new plants that you may add later in the season.
- Uncover the leaves on the gardens where you have bulbs or Lenten Roses coming up. Early spring bulbs and perennials can stand the cold or another snow.
- Prepare your tools for the gardening season. Check to make sure they are all in working order. For instance, wooden handles should be checked for any cracks. It is a good idea to rub linseed oil on all of the wooden handles to help preserve them. Caked-on soil and rust should be removed from shovels with a wire brush. Yearly sharpening of your tools will make your job easier this summer. Simply use a metal file available at your local hardware store.
- Check your hoses carefully for any cracks or holes, and make sure they are functioning properly. It’s always better to fix or replace them before they are needed.
- Watch for weeds. By now they have set their seeds from last fall and have germinated while everything else was dormant. Be sure to pull them up when they first pop up out of the ground, before they flower and go to seed. Try to keep up with the weeding throughout the spring and summer. You will thank yourself next season.
- Start thinking about seeds. If you have always wanted to grow some of your own vegetables from seed, but have never tried, now is the time to start thinking about it. Certain vegetable seeds like snow peas, sugar snap peas and garden peas can be sown directly into the garden as soon as the soil is workable. They can handle a light frost after planting, but beware not to plant too early as they cannot stand a hard frost. Be sure to follow the directions on the back of the seed packages for more detailed information. The aforementioned peas are all cool-weather vegetables that grow best in 50- to 60-degree weather and take approximately 60 days to mature.