Prepare Your Garden! Your garden may seem a bit lackluster in the winter, unlike the masterpiece it blossoms into during the warmer months. Specifically your vegetable patch is less bountiful once the snow has fallen. Though it may provide sparse amounts of broccoli, spinach or other brassica greens for your family, the lavishness of the spring and summer months is nothing but a wistful memory. Just because your garden’s going through a dull stage doesn’t mean you’re excused from your landscaping duties! It’s quite the opposite, actually. If you want your garden to thrive this spring, there’s going to be a lot of prep work involved, heres a few ways to prepare your garden for Spring.
Clean The Glasshouse - Prepare Your Garden
Do you have a glasshouse? If so, the colder months are the perfect time to give it a good, careful cleaning. Ensure that the structure is sound for the upcoming season, free from holes and cracks, shattered panes, missing louvers or dysfunctional vents. It’s also important to completely sanitize the glasshouse before it’s warm, to get rid of diseases and pests that could potentially harm your future plants.
Check the Watering System - Prepare Your Garden
Winter is a great time to double-check your watering system! In the previous months, you may have pushed off maintenance in favor of caring for you plants. Now that your plants are in their quiet, less needy phase of the year, it’s a great time to check for leaks, fix nozzles, and replace batteries in your automatic timers.
Prepare Your Soil - Prepare Your Garden
This is an absolutely crucial part of your winter gardening duties. Add substantial volumes of compost to your garden beds and expose them to the chilly weather. If you plan to add lime or fertilizer to the soil, now is a fantastic time to do so.
Plant, Plant, Plant! - Prepare Your Garden
As winter starts to subside, it’s time to plant your new garden. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What would I like to grow in the spring?
- How much of each plant would I like to grow?
- How much of each vegetable will I be able to consume?
- If there’s extra, what friends or neighbors would enjoy an extra bag of potatoes or bale of spinach?
If you have neighbors or close friends that like to garden, consider harmonizing your gardening efforts. It’ll be much more cost-effective and time-efficient if you and your neighbor can divide your growing efforts in half and swap produce.
The end of winter is also a wonderful time to prepare and plant crops for the upcoming spring season. I’d recommend the following crops:
- Seed Potatoes
- Citrus Trees
At the very end of winter when the chill is out of the air, it’s a great time to plant peas, carrots and beetroot as well.
Protect Your Plants
Face it: food is scarce in the winter. What does this mean for your plants? It means that starving pests will be on the prowl, which leaves your plants more vulnerable to assault. Arm your delicate plants and any seedlings from slugs and snails with an effective treatment. I’d also recommend using an anti-fungal spray, as the wetness of winter can cause fungal disease.
Now is the time to start preparing for the spring growing season. Get out that landscaping gear and start utilizing these tips today! Fight the urge to curl up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa when you could be prepping your soil, planting or further preparing your garden. With proper care and attention during the colder season, you’ll be sure to have an abundance of all those healthy crops and vegetables that you love to eat.
For more tips on preparing your garden for spring, check out this video.
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