7 Ways to Get Your Garden Ready For Spring Now

gardenFor many of us, blizzards and snow days abound, with what seems like no end in site. It may feel like the longest winter of all time, but spring is just around the corner! Look at this as a few extra weeks to add a few garden accessories, and make sure your garden is in order for spring. Here are seven tips to prepare your garden for the season of growth!

1) Start a Compost Bin

If you don?t already have one, now is the perfect time to get a compost bin started. You want a balanced mix between yard waste and food scraps. If your yard is barren right now, just get a bin going with food scraps and twigs, and ask for a little hay from a farmer nearby. Be sure to follow the best practices for composting to ensure you have the proper balance.

2) Check Soil Quality

Compost is always a beneficial addition to your garden, but it?s also important to test the quality of your soil to make sure you can grow a garden. Give it a little tilling to add some oxygen to the soil, and check for rocks and hard clay. You can even toss some small vegetables scraps in the actual garden.. Make sure you till it regularly to ensure the decomposition of the pieces, and consider adding a few worms to speed up the process.

3) List and Research Preferred Plants

Whether you?re a pro or a beginner, you probably know that not all plants grow in all climates, so before starting the garden each year or incorporating any new plants, it?s always a good idea to do a little research. Make a list of all the plants you want to grow, and turn it into a chart with sizes, plant spacing, potential pests, amount of sunlight, and times to plant and harvest. It?s never a good idea to just throw a few seeds around an already established garden without at least doing a little research.

4) Make A Blueprint

Now that you know what you want to grow, it?s time to really organize how your garden will look. Sure, last year?s haphazard garden was probably beautiful and great, but that doesn?t mean it was perfectly organized or reasonably spaced. Since you still have a few weeks to go, you?ve got plenty of time to make sure your garden is organized efficiently. Find out which vegetables will fight, and which will grow harmoniously; then space them accordingly. There are lots of amazing tricks for pairing flowers with vegetables to control pests. Got aphids eating your broccoli? Maybe you should plant some dill, marigolds, or calendula. These plants attract aphids to their natural predators, keeping them away from your dinner!

5) Modify and Renovate

If you found that last year?s garden had a few mistakes, adjust them now before the season starts! Build a raised bed for better drainage, add a fence to keep animals out, or buy a beautiful trellis for tomatoes and other vine-like plants. Add a few aesthetic or practical touches that will make this year?s garden the most beautiful yet.

6) Plant a Few Seeds

Yep, you might actually be able to plant a few seeds right now, depending on your climate. It?s February, which means many types of wintry leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, and lettuces will do very well in moderate climates. Pay attention to your average temperature, then to a little research on your area and zones to figure out what you can plant now.

7) Start Plants Indoors

If you?re living in a frozen tundra and still scraping ice off your car every morning, planting a few seeds outside right now might be jumping the gun a bit. Instead, start a few favorite plants indoors. It?s always a good idea to have a portable herb garden to ensure you have fresh herbs year-round. Start with something small that fits 3-5 herbs, and just move the entire box outside when it?s warm, or transport the roots when it?s planting time. You can normally start several plants indoors as well, like tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant. You?ll be ready for salad season in no time!

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