The sun is coming out and temperatures are warming up, which means it must be time for spring gardening! At the beginning of this season of growth, gardeners from all over start preparing their garden for planting and the eventual harvest. Planning your garden well in advance means that you are setting yourself up for success. Whether you are new to gardening or an experienced grower, these spring gardening tasks can help you get the most out of this year’s garden.
Prepare Your Garden
Before you do anything else, you’ll want to prepare your garden for the season. You might be tempted to just start digging and planting, but it’s important that you gather everything you need and know the direction you plan to go with your garden.
Create a planting plan
The very first thing you should do is create a planting plan — even if it’s just a loose framework. In this plan, write down what you want to plant and when to plant it. Thinking ahead with a garden means that you can make the most out of the growing season in your area. (If you don’t know your plant hardiness zone, check here.) Remember that some plants aren’t ready to go into the ground as seeds, and instead, must be started indoors before the last frost date to maximize their success.
Once you have an idea of what you want to see sprout and bloom in your garden, the rest of the spring gardening tasks will work together to prepare you for the new season!
Find your gardening tools and take stock of your supplies
You’ll need to find your gardening supplies. Break out everything and take a look at it all. Is your trowel a bit rusty or damaged? Do your gardening gloves have holes in them?
Consider replacing your current tools with new ones early in the season so you don’t have to worry about something breaking mid-spring or summer.
Next, you’ll want to take stock of your supplies. Do you have seeds from last year or the year before that you never planted? Since seeds often only last between three and five years, you’ll want to prioritize planting these. Also, see if you have any leftover soil or compost. This can come in handy when preparing your beds (or containers) for this year’s plantings.
Pull weeds and clean out gardening beds
If you left your garden to its own devices over the winter, you might find some weeds or dead plants taking up space. When doing your spring gardening tasks, go ahead and clear out the bed so it’s ready for new plants that aren’t competing with old debris.
For weeds, pull them up by the roots—and make sure you get the whole root! You might consider starting a compost practice with this old plant material and using the compost in your garden next year.
Set up new gardening beds
One of your spring gardening tasks should also be setting up new garden beds (raised or not), containers, or hydroponic systems. As you’re setting up the new beds, begin to think about the best way to arrange your garden for maximum production.
This is also a good time to think about where you want to set up trellises or stakes for your plants. Support structures are important for many vining or trailing plants, and you don’t want to wait until the last minute to install them.
It’s also a good idea to keep notes or a journal of how you plan out your garden so that you have it as a reference next year.
Purchase soil and compost
Soil is integral to any garden! After your beds are ready, head to your local home improvement store if you only need a couple of bags of soil, or check out a local garden shop to buy soil in bulk. (The more soil you get, the cheaper it will be!)
Compost can be bought, but many municipalities have free composting programs and will let you pick up compost for your garden. Check in with friends and neighbors who are avid gardeners as well: they also might have compost to share. Compost is an important piece of the growing puzzle; it’s rich in nutrients for your plants. Compost can benefit every garden.
Spring Gardening = Delicious Summer Harvest
Now that you’ve completed your spring gardening tasks, it’s time to maintain your garden over the growing season! Spend some time each day outside with your plants to make sure they are getting all of the sun, water, and nutrients they need.
Soon, it will be time to harvest your delicious tomatoes and look at your beautiful blooms!