Snow is starting to melt and birds are starting to sing their songs in the morning. Yes, spring is coming and it is just the right time to start doing outdoor activities again such as preparing your garden for a fresh and new start.
Preparing your garden for spring is actually pretty important because a good preparation will bring you much benefits for the rest of the year. Especially for you who grow your own crops in the garden, simple preparations will bring great impacts to your produces.
So, for the spring preparation, what should you do and pay attention to? Here in this article, we will talk about it.
Cleaning up is important, you need to make sure your garden is clear from early weeds and dry leaves. The reason is because weeds will grow fast once the weather is warming, while slugs and snails like to hide themselves in the winter under dry fallen leaves.
Clearing the weeds in this time is easier to do than any other time since the roots of the weeds are shallow. It might be some manual work since you have to make sure to pull all of them. After you clear the weeds, what you need to do is preventing new weeds to grow by covering bare spots of your garden with mulch or ground.
Do not forget to clean your entire garden from leaves and debris. Not only your garden beds, but also every part of it, including your drainage ditches and around your fences. Although naturally composted leaves can fertilize your soil, but it is just not the right time.
Like mentioned before, snails and slug like to hide themselves under dry leaves in the winter to avoid cold temperature. If you leave your garden full of leaves and debris in the winter, most likely snails and slugs will invade your garden once the spring arrives.
Preparing Your Soil
The next thing to do, and maybe the most important one, is preparing the soil of your garden. The reason is because it is the foundation for your garden, and building a sturdy foundation is important for your works so that you don’t need to worry about it for the rest of the year.
You might need to build the fertility of the soil while loosening it up after being frozen in the winter. You can build the fertility simply by pouring compost just a week before you plan to plant. Compost will not only infuse the soil with nutrients, but also maintain the soil’s ability to handle water.
Rain, the weight of snow, and gravity may cause your soil to become compacted. After you are building the fertility, you need to loosen your soil using shovel or fork. This process helps your garden to dry up and warm up before plantation, while it will also make the roots of your plants easier to grow in the soil.
The final preparation that you need to do is to apply some fertilizer. Make sure that you apply the right amount of fertilizer based on the plants you are going to plant in the spring unless you want to make your plants either not growing well or slowly wither. Apply it just below the germinating seeds by digging some trenches in the soil using hoe.
Working With Aesthetics
Well, your garden bed seems ready for plantation, but before that you have to make sure that you have no other works left. Late winter to early spring is the best time to plan your garden since the plants are still dormant yet able to break out of this stage with less risk than earlier time.
If you want to rearrange your garden, it is the right time. Fix the fences and repair your raised beds this time since you will find less growth around it and fewer roots which may disturb the cleaning and repairing process.
While if you have any deciduous shrub that you regret to plant in one spot of your garden, this is also the right time to move it to other spots. While the shrub is still dormant, you can prevent the death of it even though you take the roots out of the soil.
You may also want to prune your fruit trees’ branches to get the maximal result when it is growing the fruits later. By doing this in late winter to early spring, most likely the buds have not break into bloom yet, thus you can reduce the risk stress.
Planting Early Plants
Since the temperature is starting to rise, seeds will break out of its dormant state and start to grow at this time. You can also start to sow some seeds that need longer season to grow at this time such as geraniums, antirrhinums, peppers, and auberges.
Earlier is better, and this time is early enough yet supportive time to sow the seeds. If you wait other time, you will not get the result as fast and you will need to keep up with the plan to plant those seeds in the future.
Once you have done all the preparation process, you might think that it is the time to plant something. However, if you still find the soil doesn’t crumble easily and still there are some ice crystal on it, or just simply appears too wet, it means that this is not the right time to plant yet.
When you feel like it is ready, you can plant some early spring crops such as peas, spinach, and lettuces. You can also follow those crops with cabbage, broccoli, potato, kale, turnips, and onions. Make sure to plant several varieties with different harvesting date if you want prolonged harvest.
Last, you can also start to plan some summer plants at this time. However, make sure that you dig deep enough space for the roots. At least make a 6-inches deep layer of compost so your summer plants have the required support to survive upcoming summer and less likely to suffer from drought.