6 Methods for Spring Garden Preparation
April 26, 2023

These tasks prepare the earth for a successful growth season.

When springtime rolls along, gardeners are like horses at the gate, scarcely able to control their excitement at the prospect of starting the season early.

Hold your horses, not to use an analogy that is too strong. Even though you may have a to-do list for your spring garden, be careful not to get impatient, especially during planting. There are some soil bacteria that are inactive until a specific soil temperature is reached. When we planted our corn too early in the past, we used to wonder why it was so yellow. And the reason was that the microbes that make nitrogen available to plant roots weren’t yet active.

The majority of specialists advise not wasting money on irrigation, fertilization, or weed control before plants are mature and prepared to absorb it. Before plants can actively utilise it, we don’t want to release it. Hence, don’t provide feedback until it’s necessary and will have an impact on the plant.

What tasks ought to be on your spring to-do list then? Here is a list of beginner projects from the professionals if you can’t wait to get going:

1. Study and develop a strategy
Recognize the restrictions of your planting zone and consider purchasing a soil thermometer (prices start at about $15) to help you determine when the ideal temperature is for planting. Check to see if your garden location has sufficient sunlight and access to water. To know where to rotate crops, make a plot plan for your vegetable garden. Keep a garden notebook to keep track of what works. “If crops from the same plant family are grown in the same bed year after year after year, those plants are more susceptible to recurring insect and disease issues. Look for the ideal plants for your region and zone. Many experts suggest organizations like Plant Select, a charity that studies plants best suited for the West and is partially funded by the Denver Botanic Garden. Chicagoland Grows is another group that focuses on growing plants for the Upper Midwest.

2. Refresh your equipment
Maybe last fall before putting your gardening tools away, you meant to do this, but it’s not too late. According to the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach program, wash shovels, hoes, and other equipment in a strong stream of water to get rid of caked-on dirt, and then dry them. Use an oiled cloth to wipe the metal surfaces or WD-40 or another rust-prevention spray to coat them. Sand the hardwood handles after which apply linseed oil to keep them from drying out and breaking. They will also be more pleasant to use as a result. Take pruners, hoes, spades, and shovels in for sharpening; it will reduce the amount of work needed to use them. You can treat yourself to a new pair of gardening gloves from any number of hardware or tool shops that sharpen tools. To stop the spread of disease, don’t forget to sterilize your pruners in between each plant. The simplest method is to dip them in ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, both of which are readily available at most drugstores. The extension service points out that no extended soaking is required.

3. Clean up
The dead stalks of perennial flowers should be left until just before the start of spring growth, according to modern flower gardening advice. According to many, this serves as a buffer for the plant and attracts beneficial insects like praying mantises and some types of bees. He claims that study reveals that insects would return to the location where they emerged to deposit their eggs, even though spring is the season to prune dead sections back to make place for new growth. In order to avoid cutting the yard until the summer, he advises leaving a few stalks standing or designating a wild area in the yard. Alternatively, they advise, keep the dead stuff in the garden as mulch after shredding or rough cutting it.

4. Trim bushes and trees
Examine your plants and trees carefully before the leaves start to appear. You can take out any dead or diseased branches, broken or overlapping branches, or overlapping branches. Prior to the emergence of fresh growth, you should endeavor to complete that. Uncertain whether a branch is alive? Just scratch along the woody bark with your fingernail, she advises. If the plant is still alive, it will appear green; if it is dead, it will appear brown.

5. Pull a few weeds.
Get started on this never-ending task right away. Because they compete with our vegetable plants for moisture and nutrients, it’s critical to get a jump on them now. They may also serve as hosts for pests and diseases. Thus, if anyone needs any more encouragement , it should be enough.

6. Add mulch and compost
After weeding, treat the beds with 1 to 2 inches of compost and other organic materials like bonemeal. Good news, then: According to current recommendations, there is no need to rototill or turn it into the soil. There are many different types of microorganisms that generally dwell in layered soil in various decks. The soil food web will be affected if a gardener disturbs these layers sufficiently. “So those microbes, they’re decomposing organic matter, they’re making nitrogen and other nutrients available to our plants, they improve the texture of our soil,” the author explains. The following step is to spread a layer of mulch to prevent weed growth.

When the earth has warmed up following these processes, you are prepared to plant.