Spring is just around the corner! Time to replace your winter gloves with gardening gloves. With the weather getting warmer, it’s time to start thinking about your planting plans for the new season. Whether it’s your first time or your tenth time prepping your garden, there are preparations every gardener should think about when transitioning into planting season.
First things first. No matter what type of garden you’re prepping for, you’ll need seeds to get started. Do your research to figure out the best type of plants to grow in your garden. Decide the spot you want to start your garden and figure out whether you need sun-loving plants or plants that prefer to chill in the shade. Some plants need their own pot to grow. Try buying seeds from a local seed grower as those seeds will be good for your region’s climate. Know when to plant the seeds for the best results as different plants grow in different seasons.
Getting your tools ready is an important part of preparing for your springtime gardening. It’s important to maintain your tools year-round by cleaning and sharpening them. Preserving your garden tools will help to save you money in the long run. Dirty garden tools can introduce unwanted bacteria and fungi to your garden, which will harm your plants. Cleaning your tools will help to keep them and your garden clean. Use a strong detergent, hot water, and a scourer (like a wire or stiff brush) to thoroughly clean your tools. Sharpening your tools will also help them perform better; your sharpened tools will cut more easily and make cleaner pruning cuts. Apply some oil as well to the handles and blades to keep your equipment in great shape.
GARDEN CLEAN UP
More than likely, the winter months have kept you away from outdoor gardening. Now is the time to go out and clean up your gardening area to get it ready to transfer those seeds! Clear out leaves and fallen branches. You can use the leaves in a compost bin if you have one (or use them to start a compost bin if you don’t). Remove dead plants and weeds. But make sure the soil is dry enough before you start pulling leaves. To test the dirt, pick up a handful and shape it into a ball, if it crumbles easily then it is dry enough. If the soil stays in large clumps and stick together, then it needs more time. Use this time before planting season begins to check for unwanted pests in your garden, compost bin, and tools. Get rid of them before they get a chance to harm your plants. Also be sure to check fences, gates, and trellises for damage done over the winter. You want to make sure your garden is secure from animals who may want to snack on your plants.
To get healthy plants, you need to take care of the soil and make sure it has all the nutrients it needs to support your garden. A soil test can tell you what nutrients your soil is lacking, which can help you pick the best choice for your soil. A compost bin is a great way to add nutrients to the soil. You can make your own compost using kitchen, yard, and garden scraps, or buy it locally. Grass clippings are also a good option as they supply nutrients, slow weed growth, and improve the soil’s ability to store water. Mulch is another good option to help the soil. Mulch helps to discourage weeds, retain moisture in the soil, and prevent erosion. You can use a combination of these options as well for even healthier soil.
You can get a head start on planting your seeds by using indoor trays and transferring them outside. Start growing the seeds inside your home to get them sprouting. As it gets warmer outside, begin moving the seedlings outside for longer periods of time during the day and bringing them in at night. This “hardening off” process will get the seedlings used to the outdoors and make it easier to transfer them outside when spring arrives.
Want more? Click here for more Tusco Tips.