Do These 7 Gardening Tasks Now To Ensure Your Spring Garden Will Thrive

Winter gardening can seem like a waste of time. Especially if you live in an area with frigid temperatures and constant rain. But smart gardeners know that tending their garden is a year-round job, even if you’re not actively digging.

Spring is just around the corner, and there’s never been a better time to put your seasonal gardening strategies into action.

“The main reason I work in the garden in the winter is to stay ahead of the game. Anything you can do in the winter is one less thing to worry about in the spring,” he says. Erin ShahnTroy-Bilt Gardening Partner, Master Gardener Volunteer, and creator of The Impatient Gardener blog and YouTube channel.

Here are a few items to add to your to-do list that will help you get started gardening when the weather warms up.

Winter is the time to take care of your gardening tools like sharpening, lubricating, removing rust, and replacing broken handles and dull blades.

Remove dirt with a wire brush or water spray and dry the tool with a cloth. Remove rust with water soaked pumice stone or fine steel wool.

“After applying a light coat of oil, sharpen shovels and spades with a metal file. Hand pruners, loppers, and other small edged tools should be sharpened using a sharpening stone,” says Schanen. .

After sharpening the blade, lubricate it with a light oil such as camellia oil to keep it from rusting.

Check all tool parts for loose or broken parts and replace or repair as necessary.

“Wooden handles can be cleaned with soap and water and a stiff brush and then coated with linseed oil,” says Schanen.

2. Inventory of gardening materials

Determines the amount of potting soil, mulch, fertilizer, and other materials in the shed. Buy back the materials you need for the next year.

“Checking inventory is especially important if fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides or other treatments have been stored in freezing locations,” says Schanen.

Extreme temperatures can reduce the effectiveness of materials in plant treatments.

3. Seed Order

Request and review our seed catalog for inspiration in your garden and always order the right seeds for your growing conditions.

“At this time of year, we recommend ordering herb seeds such as lettuce, spinach, peas, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, sage, oregano, dill and mint. Best to be planted in months and will get results by late spring or early summer. Brett Douglasa thumbtack pro and owner of Ironclad Landscape Management.

To see if old seeds are still good, do a germination test. Place a few seeds on a damp paper towel and place them in a wrap or sealable plastic bag to keep warm. Wait about a week to see how well the seeds germinate.

4. Schedule a time to start seeding

Schedule when you need to start planting and what supplies you need.

“The seed initiation spreadsheet is very helpful in making sure you’re initiating seeds at the right time. This is critical to making sure your plants have a chance to continue growing, and the growth If you start under the lights, it will be planted at the right time,” says Schanen.

It uses the information in the seed packet to decide when to start seeding. Often based on the date of the last frost. (This can be found by doing an online search by zip code for the date of the last frost.)

5. Know your soil

Soil testing helps gardeners understand soil chemistry, including pH levels, amount of organic matter, and levels of certain key nutrients. Most public universities offer soil testing for a nominal fee.

“The reports you receive are not only an important window into what’s going on in your soil, but also information on how to correct imbalances to get the best results for what you’re growing.” We also offer it,” says Schanen.

Because soil needs are unique to what grows in a particular area, Schanen says it’s best to sample lawns, vegetables, and perennial gardens separately.

Cold weather gardeners can do a soil test when the ground is clear of frost.

Understanding the difference between a cultivator and a tiller will help you choose the right equipment for your gardening needs.

“The cultivator is great for mixing loose soil and breaking up small weeds between rows of an already established garden,” says Shannen. Excellent for making and mixing soil conditioners to establish a good base for growth.

When it comes to gardening tools, Douglas advises, “Always put quality before price.”

7. Prepare to remove winter mulch

At the first signs of winter weather, gardeners living in frosty climates know to apply a layer of mulch to insulate the plants and protect them from rapid freezing and thawing. When nighttime temperatures are no longer below freezing and plants begin to show new growth, it’s time to remove the mulch.

Now is the perfect time to keep a close eye on your plants, check the ground under the mulch, and monitor temperatures to determine the right time to remove winter mulch. I recommend keeping a garden journal for this purpose.

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