It’s the end of February, and spring is right around the corner. That means it’s time to get your garden ready for the warmer weather! Here are some tips on how to get your garden ready for the growing season so that you can have a stress-free spring and a beautiful garden by the time April rolls around.
Note: Some of these garden chores can only be done once the ground is thawed. if you live in a northern climate or have had a particularly cold winter, you may need to wait a few weeks for the ground to warm up.
Remember, each climate is different! If you’re in a temperate zone, you might have started planting already and you likely did all of these garden tasks months ago. Simply save this guide for next year so that you don’t forget any crucial garden preparation steps.
For those who still have that chill of winter in the air but have started to look forward to spring, now’s the time to break out of hibernation and dust off those garden tools. So get ready to get your hands dirty and let’s get prepping!
Clear out any debris and dead plants
Start by clearing away any debris, such as fallen leaves, branches, and anything that has been left behind over the winter months. This will get your garden space ready for you to start planting! Add any of the brown material to your compost pile to help great nutritious soil to feed your plants during the growing season.
Grow well tip: If you don’t have a compost pile, now is the time to start one!
Check and repair any garden structures
Winter can be harsh on garden structures, such as fences and arbors. Take a look around your garden to make sure that everything is still in good condition. If anything needs repair, fix it now before you get too far into spring planting season.
Remove weeds and clear the soil
Weeds are notorious for showing up during the warmer months, so get a head start on them and get rid of any that have sprouted. Pull up any weeds that you see and get rid of any old roots or stalks leftover from last year’s plants. Also clear out any debris from the topsoil so that it’s ready for fertilizer and planting.
Test your soil
Now is a great time to get your soil tested to see if there are any amendments or fertilizers you need to get for the growing season. Test kits can be found at most home and garden stores, or you could get a professional soil analysis done. This is an especially beneficial step if you are planning on growing fruit or vegetable plants in any of your beds.
Organize and clean your garden shed and tools
If you have a garden shed, get it organized and get your tools ready for the upcoming season. Make sure that your trowels, pruners, hoes and other gardening tools are free of dirt and rust. Clear out any dirt or spider webs that have accumulated over the winter and get your workspace ready for the upcoming growing season.
Plan your garden layout
Now is the time to get creative and plan out your garden layout for spring. Think about where you want to put each of your new plants and get a big picture view of what your garden will look like in its full glory. This is especially important if you are growing vegetables, as certain veggies can actually support the growth of others.
Grow well tip: Always make sure that you check which plants need sun or shade, as this will help you get the best results from your garden. The last thing you want to do is have plants that are getting too much sun or not enough!
Refresh your edging
If your garden edges are looking a bit overgrown, use a trowel, spade or edging tool to get them crisp and clean. This will give you great, neat boundaries for all of your planting beds so that things don’t get too chaotic as the plants get bigger. It will also help your beds feel clean and will make your garden area look nice and tidy.
Order or start seeds
Depending on where you live, it might be time to start seeds indoors. Generally, starting seeds 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date in your area is a good rule to go by. If you want to sow seeds directly into the garden, you’ll want to get those ordered so that they get delivered in time for spring.
Grow well tip: If you’re starting seeds indoors, make sure you have the right lighting setup and give your seedlings plenty of attention as they get established. The more care and attention you give them now, the better results you will get later!
Utilize a cold frame
If you live in a temperate zone, now is the time to get your cold frame set up. Cold frames are great for starting seedlings or getting a head start on the growing season. Make sure that you get it installed and get some soil ready inside so that you’re ready to get planting as soon as the weather warms up and the risk of frost has passed.
Purchase any tools you need
If you find that any of your tools have broken or need to be replaced, now is the time to get those. Make sure you get all the gardening tools you’ll need for the upcoming spring season so that you don’t have to rush around later when it’s time to get planting.
Prune, perennials shrubs and trees
Cut back any perennials that you missed in the fall and prune your trees and shrubs to get them in shape for the growing season. Remove any dead branches or stems that have been damaged over the winter months or any overgrowth from the previous season.
Make sure your water system is working properly
If you use a watering system such as sprinklers or drip irrigation to get your plants hydrated, now is the time to check that it’s all working correctly. Make sure you get any repairs done before temperatures start heating up and you get into full bloom season.
Note: This step can only be done if you are past the risk of a freeze. Adding water to your outdoor irrigation system too early could cause malfunctions if the temperature dips too low.
If you have overgrown perennial plants that bloom in the fall, this is a great time to get them divided. Split the root clumps in half and replant them in the location of your choice. You could even give them to a friend! Doing this step early gives your plants plenty of time to develop roots and get established before their blooming season.
Grow well tip: A good rule of thumb is that you should divide spring-blooming perennials in the early fall and fall blooming perennials in the early spring. If you aren’t sure about the perennials in your garden, you can always do a little research to find out or take a picture and ask a local gardener for help.
Preparing your garden for spring doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a bit of forward thinking and effort, you can get your garden ready the growing season in no time! Get organized, get your tools up to snuff, get the right supplies, and get planting. With these tips, you’ll have a beautiful garden full of blooms come summertime.