By -Georgia Lund-
Gardeners are always anxious to get outside and play in the dirt after a long, cold winter indoors. As soon as the weather warms up and the ground thaws, it’s time to get your garden ready for spring. Grab those gardening tools and head outdoors to make preparations for the upcoming growing season.
Garden Clean Up
The first order of business is clean up the garden. Fall and winter leave behind a variety of debris on the garden, and spring is the ideal clean up time. Remove twigs, branches, leaves, etc., that have collected in the garden area.
Spring is the time to prepare and repair all gardening tools. Sharpen hoes, spades, and shovels, and wipe wooden handles down with mineral spirits to prevent splintering.
Add a touch of neon paint to the end of wooden handles so tools will be easy to find in tall vegetation. A splash of neon color also makes for easy identification if a neighbor happens to borrow the tools.
Last year’s crops took a lot out of the soil and spring is the optimum time to replenish soil nutrients. Start with a soil test to determine what amendments should be added for healthy plant growth.
Also, add a 4-inch layer of organic compost on top of the soil and work it into the soil. This can be accomplished by hand with a turning fork or with a roto-tiller.
Plan Your Garden
Decide what vegetables and flowers you would like to grow, then check them out to make sure they will grow in your USDA hardiness zone.
Make a drawing of your garden plot and pencil in what goes where and take your drawing and ideas to the local nursery for professional advice and recommendations on the best plants to grow.
An ideal garden will have producing plants (vegetables or flowers) from early spring until late fall.
Start a fresh pile of compost for the upcoming growing season. Compost can be made in a bin or a pile, whichever you prefer.
Start compost with several inches of coarse, brown organic matter, like straw, leaves or corn stalks. Add several inches of fresh, green organic matter, like vegetable peelings or cow manure. Top that off with a couple shovels of full of garden soil, then water it down. Keep building layers until it’s 3 feet high, and turn the pile every other week until it completely decomposes.
Full of Hope
Spring fills a gardener with hope. Hope for a bumper crop and bigger blooms in the upcoming garden season. Keep that hope going strong by growing something new every year.
Image by: Andrei Ivanov