Despite what the weather may lead us to believe Spring will arrive soon. Maybe it will help us believe it if we repeat that phrase: Spring will arrive soon! (Repeat as needed) It’s March and during March we can expect a number of tumultuous and turbulent weather systems that will toy with our psyche. Have faith gardeners because spring and the gardening season will be here soon, but before Spring arrives there are a number of things that gardeners can to to prepare for the busiest time of the year!
|Yoshino Cherry in Bloom|
Pre-spring is a GREAT time to mulch. A GREAT time! Why? Because it is cool and easy to work without getting overheated. Mulch will hold weeds seeds back from germinating and keep moisture in the soil. I know I have mentioned mulch many times over the years but it is a GREAT thing to do! Choose a biodegradable mulch for your gardens. These will break down over time but will improve the soil fertility and structure as they decay. It’s always a GREAT time to mulch!
Evaluate your garden tools. If you are like me (feel free to admit it if you are) you might have gotten lazy in the fall when it got cold outside. You might have forgotten or neglected to clean, sharpen, or maintain your garden tools. If so give them some TLC this spring. A sharp shovel is an awesome tool, a dull one will have you muttering words under your breath not fit for children’s ears while trying to plant your spring garden.
Turn the compost. Your compost bin probably hasn’t been too active while the weather has been cool. Give it a good turn to let some oxygen inside so the microbes can wake back up and get busy making “gardener’s gold!” Let those microbes breathe!
Do some last minute pruning! Remember if it blooms in spring leave it alone except for necessary corrective cuts. If it blooms in summer it will flower on new growth (in most cases) and you should be fine to cut it back to a more manageable garden specimen! Try to never cut more than a third of a plant back at a time. If there is dead wood you can prune it out anytime of the year. Branches that cross against each other and rub against the trunks are prime candidates for pruning out.
If you haven’t already get those seeds started! Now is the perfect time for starting seeds like peppers and tomatoes indoors. Cool season crops can be started outside now or prestarted indoors and transplanted outside. Try using some kind of biodegradable planting pot. Toilet paper rolls can be a great (and cheap) way to start seeds.
Evaluate the garden. Chances are there were things you didn’t like about your garden last year. Maybe a plant didn’t grow well or as expected. Maybe the summer bulbs your planted last spring never made it. There could be a lot of way to improve your garden this year so see what went wrong last season and figure out how to address it before things get growing.
Improve the soil! Work in a good layer of compost to the vegetable garden or anywhere else that may need it.
Spring is on its way! You can believe it, it always gets here. So get ready now and you will have less to do later!