We know it’s hard not to jump right into your garden on the first warm day of spring, but just like a blooming flower, timing is everything. Try to wait until the soil is no longer wet enough to ball up in your hands before you launch into your garden preparation in order to avoid soil compaction. To ensure a fruitful garden, follow these tips to get your garden ready for spring.
1. Get Your Tools Ready
When the weather starts warming, it’s time to start preparing. Start by prepping your supplies and tools. Begin saving containers for seedling, ordering your seeds and cleaning your tools. Scrub them down with a scotchbrite pad and add oil to the metal. You can store them in a bucket of sand to prevent any rust from forming before the last thaw.
If this is your first time prepping for the spring or you just need a refresher, make sure you have the following tools in your gardening shed as well:
- Large and small clippers for trimming large branches and pruning small plants
- Gardening gloves to protect your hands from chemicals
- Shovel for digging holes for saplings and larger plants; also for soil and fertilizer transportation
- Wide and narrow hand trowels for smaller holes, and for loosening and spreading soil
- Large rake and hand rake, both are needed to clear your garden, loosen soil and clean plant beds
- Knee pads so you can garden for longer more comfortably
- Garden Broom—better and more gentle than a regular broom for cleaning out a budding garden
- Compostable garden bags so you can toss clippings straight into your compost
2. Clear Your Lawn and Garden
Once your soil no longer holds a ball, rake your lawn and garden clear of the debris and dead plants from winter and add it to your compost.
3. Prep Your Perennials
If you didn’t already do so in the fall, prune your perennials as soon as you see new growth to keep the plant on its seasonal cycle. Also prune those plants that will only bud on new growth. Cutting the dead stems will bring it out of its dormant stage.
Weed while topsoil is still damp, not because it’s easier, but to get to the weeds before they seed other parts of your lawn. Do not add weeds to your compost though, because then you’ll just be re-feeding the weeds back into your garden!
5. Test Your Soil
Before you bring any new plants and blossoms to your garden, test the soil’s balance to see what kinds of fertilizers or pesticides you may need. It will indicate if you need a fertilizer heavy in a certain nutrient, compost or top dressing. The best time to test is as soon as you see new growth on your old plants.
6. Divide and Transplant
Now is the time to also divide and transplant any plants you plan on transporting or turning into seedlings. Early in the growth cycle, plants can tolerate much more distress and recover faster than later in the season.
7. Stake Your Plants
It may not be pretty, but it’s much easier to stake plants now when they’ve begun to grow than trying to wrestle them onto stakes later when they’re larger and more mature.
8. Mulch Mulch Mulch
When you’ve noticed your soil’s warmed and dried up a bit, that’s the time to add mulch. Mulch is like a multivitamin for your garden. You can live without it, but everything blossoms better and has more vitality with mulch. It not only conserves water, but cools plant roots, feeds the soil and smothers weeds.
9. Finishing Edge
An often overlooked step, edging your garden is like a trim between haircuts. It just makes things look much more polished and put together. A good edge, especially on borders and between flower beds and lawn, is that finishing touch that will elevate your garden’s look and appeal.
Once you’ve accomplished all these preparations for spring, we know you’ll be itching to get planting. Now that everything’s ready, all that’s left to do is just wait for that moment when you can plunge your hands back into the earth.
Inspired to get have a blooming garden, but lack a green thumb? Use our instant estimate tool to get a price in seconds and find certified professional in your area. Get a price. Get a pro. Get it done.