If you’re watching the ground outside freeze, and then re-freeze, you’re probably feeling antsy for when the ground finally thaws for good, with the onset of much anticipated warmer weather. During winter, your garden is exposed to severe temperatures and the elements, and will need a bit of clearing out and care before it’s ready for spring. Now is the perfect time to get your garden ready, even if it may seem a little bit early. By getting a head start now, you won’t have nearly as much prep work next month, and can get right to planting and reviving your garden.
Like we mentioned, things get a bit messy during the winter months. So now is the time to clean up your garden, getting rid of debris and anything that found its way into your garden that doesn’t belong. Clean off your lawn while you’re at it! Things like branches and fallen leaves should be removed so the soil in your garden can breathe. This is also the perfect time to prune back bushes, shrubs, and trees, to promote growth once the weather warms up. Dehead any plants that are needing it, so everything is ready to grow!
Prepare your soil
Pull out your rake from the garden shed, and get to work breaking up the soil in your garden. This will help things grow, since we don’t want your soil to be compacted. If you don’t already have a compost heap, now is the perfect time to start one! Composting is not only incredible for your garden and plants, but it helps you waste less. You can put any organic food material into your compost heap, as well as dead plants (those fallen leaves and branches from earlier are perfect for composting!) shredded newspapers, and even other organic materials such as linen. There are so many things you can compost, you’ll be shocked at how little you are putting into the bin.
In addition to composting, you should also lay some mulch down onto your soil, once it’s been broken up. This adds nutrients to the soil(while you wait for your compost to be ready), and will hopefully stamp out some of those pesky weeds in a few months when everything starts growing and weeds become rampant.
Make a game plan for your garden
Do you have any plans to change areas of your garden? Maybe your cilantro consumption went up over the winter months, and you feel like you should expand that area of your garden. Or maybe last summer, you hardly ate any of the zucchini that your garden produced, so you have to either plan to eat more, or maybe replace a few of those plants with something you know you’ll eat more of. It doesn’t hurt to draw out an outline of your garden, and figure out how you will best map out all of your plants for optimum growth and to take advantage of the space that you have.
Keep it maintained until it’s planting time
The reason it’s so convenient to get started on your garden now is because it means it won’t take as long when it’s time to actually plant your garden. Don’t let your hard work right now go wasted, and keep your garden area maintained by picking up any debris when you see it, and plucking away any especially hardy weeds that are making an early appearance.
Clean your tools
It’s recommended to keep your tools cleaned and prepped before you start planting. Clean the tools off with soap and water, and then use mineral spirits on any wooden handles to prevent splintering and to improve the longevity of your tools.