It’s the beginning of March and spring is just around the corner. For many people who are looking forward to gardening, they’re just waiting for the temperature to get warm enough to start working outside. But just because it might still be a little chilly outside doesn’t mean you can’t get started on preparing your garden for springtime.
1. Plan Your Garden
The first thing you’ll want to do is plan what you’re going to grow. Make sure that you aren’t trying to grow too many crops for the amount of space you have. Try also to avoid growing the same type of plants in the same plots as last year – you’ll want to rotate crops to minimize problems with garden pests, soilborne diseases, and soil nutrient depletion.
2. Clear Out Debris
The winter was harsh in many areas of the country. You’ll want to rake up dead leaves and trim back dead growth from perennials. If you have any plants that you’re sure died over the winter, you’ll want to pull them too to free up space. Also be on the lookout for any pests that may have tried to overwinter, such as spider mites or aphids.
3. Make Sure You Have Your Seeds
Once you’ve decided what you want to plant, you’ll have to make sure that you have the seeds you need. If you didn’t store seeds from last year’s crop, that means buying seeds and making sure they arrive in time to plant.
4. Start Sowing Indoors
It’s not too late to start indoor sowing of plants like peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants that will need to be transplanted outdoors once the danger of frost has passed. If you don’t have seedling trays, you can use plastic yogurt containers or salad containers filled with potting soil. Getting started now will assure that you’ll have a good long growing season ahead of you.
5. Fix Support Structures
If you have fences, gates, and trellises, you’ll want to fix them up now so as not to take time away from your gardening later this year. Same thing for tomato cages and plant stakes, figure out which ones are still in good shape and get rid of any that are broken or rusted beyond repair.
6. Clean and Prepare Tools
Hopefully you cleaned and winterized your garden tools before you put them up for the winter. Now’s the time to see how they’ve held up. Clean off any rust from metal tools and sharpen anything that needs it. Treat any dried-out wood and give everything a good cleaning so you’ll be ready to go once the weather turns warm.
7. Prepare Your Soil
Last, but not least, it’s time to get your soil ready for planting. Turn under any cover crops you may have, pluck any weeds that you might see coming up, and put down a good layer of compost to give your plants the nutrients they’ll need to grow. Spring will be here before you know it, so make sure the ground will be ready to plant seeds or transplant your seedlings.