Winter is here and depending on your geographic location, you may have experienced the first frost of the season or cleaning up the snow on the walkway. It’s a great time to get the garden ready for the upcoming spring season. If it seems like a lot of work, you can always search for “landscape companies near me” and hire a reputed professional for the job. Otherwise, you can take things in your open hands and do the following things:
- Remove dead branches and mulch – The first thing you need to do to prepare your garden for the spring season is to remove dead and diseased branches, leaves, and other parts of the plant. You have to get rid of them. Don’t add them into the compost pile. The diseased plants may infect healthy shrubs and crops when you use them in your garden. Moreover, if any weed sprouts survive in the compost pile, they will germinate in the spring and summer seasons and take over all the green.
You may have planted a lot of crops during the winter season and are waiting for a bountiful harvest during the spring and summer seasons. However, plants aren’t made the same and some are more susceptible to the cold than others. You need to put a layer of mulch around such plants so that they can survive and sprout as soon as the snow melts.
- Test your soil – Winter is also a great time to test the soil. Spring is one of the busiest seasons for gardeners and you don’t have the time to change the soil according to your requirements. That’s why it’s best to test the soil during the wintertime. You can get soil testing kits that will tell you everything from the pH level of the soil to its nutrient content. You can mix compost, topsoil, and apply other solutions to change the soil and get it ready for the spring season.
- Get the beds mulched and composted – During the winter season, add a generous and thick layer of slow-releasing compost over your raised beds. To protect the soil from compaction, you can also add a row of floating row crop cover over it. Throughout the winter season, the nutrients in the compost are slowly added to the soil to increase its fertility.
Moreover, this allows water and sunlight to get into the soil without dipping down its temperature. This is necessary to keep the worms alive and enrich the micro-ecosystem inside your soil. The winter season doesn’t need to be free from composting either. You can start a compost pile inside the home with a compost pail and a charcoal filter. This controls the foul smell until you empty the compost on the beds.
- Clean, maintain and store garden tools – Your garden tools go through a lot the whole year. The winter season is the time they get their well-deserved rest. Start by cleaning both the manual and power garden tools. Inspect them carefully for any problems and repair them if necessary.
This season is also the perfect time to do maintenance work on your garden tools. Sand down the rust, lube up the tools and replace mechanisms. For power tools, you can lube up the chain, change the motor oil and empty the fuel tank. After you’re done with all of that, you need to store the garden tools properly, protected from the cold. If tools are beyond repair, you can make a list and order replacements during the spring season.
- Order seeds – No, you don’t need to buy seeds in bulk for gardening. Instead, it’s a great time to order seed catalogs. Check out a few brands you haven’t tried before. You may find great surprises that will get your taste buds tingling and fill you with the itch to start digging as soon as the snow melts away.
- Consider cold frames – Cold frames are rising in popularity, especially in places with severe cold weather. These frames have transparent roofs and act as enclosures that have a low profile. They work really well for protecting plants against wet and cold weather.
Moreover, the transparent roof allows the sunlight to keep the plants and the soil warm and also acts like a micro greenhouse for trapping heat. It’s essentially climate control that lets you extend your growing season. You may consider them for your garden.
- Start planning layouts – Once you have a rough plan about the herb garden, veggie garden, bushes, perennials, and more, it’s time for a more concrete plan. Get a garden planning journal for help. Draw out the space you want to allocate for each type of garden bed and plant. You can also note down experimental results and journal your efforts. It helps you conclude what works and make your gardening more efficient. This journal won’t just help you for the upcoming spring season, but for many seasons after that.
- Start with plants that have long maturing periods – When you start planning seed germination, you need to start with those that take the longest time to mature and hence act as an asset to your property. The first on this list would be trees followed by bushes, perennials, herbs, annual veggies, and potted plants.
After all those plants have been accounted for, you need to consider plants that have difficulty surviving in your local region. However, you had them on your bucket list for a long time. List down the reasons you want those plants. Do you want them just for their exotic value or are they superfoods with remarkable nutritional value? After you’ve got this sorted out, all you need to do is wait for the spring season.
Getting ready for the spring involves a lot of work and preparation. From getting rid of dead branches and diseased plants to preparing cold frames and ordering seed catalogs. If you’re overwhelmed by a large number of tasks, you can search for “landscape companies near me” and get help from professionals.