Things to do before the start of the gardening season
It is spring and it is time to start thinking about the garden and all you need to have a successful garden. Preparation for spring garden is not something you have to accomplish all in one day, one weekend or one week. If you do that you will not finish and you will be burned out before you even start the garden. Start small and build on it.
Buy or Order Seeds
Check your favorite seed catalogs or garden stores or online seeds sites like Burpee for the seeds you need for your flowers and vegetables. I sometimes get my seeds from Wal-Mart, Amazon, Dollar store, Home Depot, Lowes and Whatever I saved from last year.
Start some seeds indoors
Start your seeds indoors. if you want to get a timely jump start on your garden
and also save money in the process then you have to start some or all your seeds indoors.
The best time to start seeds about 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date. This means as soon as the weather changes, you are not going around town looking for seedlings at garden shop. You have yours at home.
Starting seeds indoors also help increase your growing season. I start with seeds like pepper that takes longer time to germinate and grow. The next seeds I start indoors is tomato. I usually use the paper towel method to germinate my seeds fast. I use seed starting tray and other containers to start the seeds indoors. You can put the container on your window sill or under a grow light. You can also grow it in a small greenhouse.
Fix fences and other garden support structures
Winter is usually very brutal on structures and supports like trellises and poles, take a look around to see if there are any damages on the fence, trellises and poles you use in the garden. if you find any damages, fix or replace before the start of the growing season.
SELECT YOUR GARDEN LOCATION
Starting your garden for the first time? select the best location that gets the most sunlight, the area needs good drainage and avoid areas with a lot of trees.
For other gardeners like us, who have been gardening for a long time, you might want to determine the placement of your plants. For instance I try to rotate my seeds placement every couple of years.
DETERMINE THE PLACEMENT OF YOUR PLANTS
Determine the placement of your plants in the garden base on how much space the mature plants will take in order to get the best yield. plan out your garden, that is, where each plant will go and how much space you will assign to each plant and which plants grow best with another.
CREATE OR MAINTAIN A COMPOST PILE
Gardeners that have a compost pile, need to start rotating the compost pile, this will help speed up the composting process. Also make sure the area is clean so that it does not attract pest and insects to your garden. If you do not have a compost pile, you will need one as you will see in the next few things you have to do.
CLEAN YOUR GARDEN and GARDEN BEDS.
If you are like me I stay away from the garden because of 1) the cold weather,
2) ice or snow and
3) there is nothing worth harvesting or getting from the garden in the winter. once in a while I usually work in the greenhouse.
So clean out all the leaves and weeds from the garden, Despite the fact that I clean up leaves weekly in the fall, I still end up with a huge pile of leave in my garden from all the surrounding trees, us a rake to move and pile up all the leaves away from the garden.
REMOVE ALL DEAD PLANTS FROM THE GARDEN
Winter does a great job killing all the plants in the garden including the plants you don’t want in the garden. Remove all these plants and add them to the pile of leaves you already made. these dead plants, leaves and grass clippings will become good compost for your garden in a few months.
ADD FERTILIZER OR COMPOST TO THE GARDEN
After cleaning the garden, it is time to put some fertilizer in the garden. Gardening the previous year took out some of the nutrients from the soil, it is time to put some back in the form of fertilizer or very rich compost. I have a huge compost pile from all the garden waste and leaves so every spring I put about 2 to 4 inches of compost in to the garden. I also get a little bit of compost from my worm bin which is great because worms help break down all the dead leaves and garden waste. add the fertilizer about a week or two before the planting date.
DE-WINTERIZE YOUR SPRINKLER SYSTEM & SETUP THE NEW SYSTEM
What I usually do is disassemble the sprinkler system and bring it inside and so now is the time to set it up again. but not everyone is able to disassemble and bring it, if you cannot disassemble it then you have to winterize it, if you did that, then now is the time to de-winterize it.
PRUNE TREES, FLOWERS AND SHRUBS
If you have trees or flowers around you garden then now is the time to prune it so it does not cover or encroach on your plants. In some cases you might have to remove some trees so that the plants can get enough sunlight.
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