The arrival of spring means the start of the gardening season for many. If you have a garden, this is an exciting time of year as you get the opportunity to return to a hobby you love.
You’ll enjoy the experience much more if you address certain tasks and projects early in the season. Gardening requires sticking to a process. Before you can complete tasks like building fencing and stakes for your climbing plants with oscillating tool blades, it’s important to prepare your yard for growth. As you start gardening again, prioritize these tasks first for the best results.
Seeds are most likely to grow into healthy plants when their soil drains well. That’s why it’s important to remove debris from your drainage ditches before planting anything new. A lot of debris can accumulate in a ditch over the course of winter. Removing all of it will promote the necessary soil conditions for healthy plant growth.
Many gardens contain artificial features and structures, such as raised beds, trellises, and fencing.
It’s not uncommon for these to sustain damage during winter. Raised beds may have bowed or leaning sides. Trellises and fending could fall into disrepair. Inspect these structures (and make any necessary repairs) before using them.
Monitor Soil Conditions
The condition of your soil determines the condition of your harvest. Don’t make the mistake of planting seeds before the soil is ready to support them. This means waiting until ice crystals melt. If there are still ice crystals in your soil, it will be too cold for germination.
You also need to dress your garden beds with compost before planting. Wait until the ground gets dry to do this. In early spring, melting snow and ice can result in soggy conditions that interfere with composting.
Finally, check your soil’s pH before planting in your garden. You may need to make adjustments if it’s too alkaline or acidic.
Protect Your Seedlings
You may still need to take steps to protect your seedlings after planting them. For instance, early spring isn’t always warm all of the time. There are instances when you may expect an overnight frost. If so, cover your seedlings with turned over flower pots or similar containers.
As your seedlings grow, monitor the plants for signs of damage. New plants often attract slugs during this time of year. If you find any, you can remove them on your own by hand, or use a non-toxic slug control product, such as diatomaceous earth.
It’s also a good idea to apply barrier paper to the seedling stem base. This protects them from cabbage moths.
Odds are good winter has left some branches of your plants diseases or dead. Pruning them ensures they don’t deprive your healthy plants of nutrition. You could also use an electric grass trimmer to get rid of some of this overgrowth. When you prune, air circulates better, and plants are exposed to more sunlight, resulting in a greater potential for growth.
Taking these steps is key to laying the foundation for a healthy yard and garden. As warm weather moves in, you may be excited to start working on yours. Tackle these projects first to ensure your garden stays healthy all season long.