I’m happy to introduce a guest post from Bobbi Peterson. Enjoy!
Gardening is so much fun to do because it makes you think of so many things at once that all come together into one beautiful plant. You have to make sure your soil and positioning is right, that you’ve watered it enough and then you have to take care of your plant during different seasons. It’s easy to garden during the spring and summer, but when it comes to winter, people generally start over.
Starting over isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means that you get a clean slate to get all new plants and try out your green thumb with different things. To prepare yourself for your spring garden, check out some things you should know before the snow starts to get replaced by warm rain showers.
Know What Supplies You’ll Need
Not only is spring the time when plants begin to bloom, but it’s also the time when bugs come out again. This means dealing with insects trying to eat and kill your new garden, so stop them before they even start. Research what kinds of bugs are common in your area or talk with other gardeners about their experiences. Then go out and get the right pesticides that will protect your plants from local bugs without harming them in the process.
Clear Up Your Flower Beds
If you had a garden last summer, you probably have dead plants in your backyard where it used to bloom. Most people don’t get around to clearing out their flower beds when it gets cold outside because it’s not easy to work outside in freezing temperatures. Clearing out dead plants is just part of how you get your garden ready to grow, so you’ll have an easier time planting in the spring.
Get The Right Soil
It’s a common misconception amongst newer gardeners that as long as your soil doesn’t have too much sand and a little bit of fertilizer, your plants should grow fine. This isn’t the case, though, since soil pH has so much to do with the health of new plants. Changing pH levels affect the availability of nutrients, so check with your local garden shop to see if they have a pH testing kit so you can rest easy knowing that your plants have the right kind of soil to grow.
Fix Up Your Garden
Once you’ve cleared out all the old plants from last year, take advantage of the empty space to fix up anything about your garden that you don’t like. Repair a gate or put in a fence to protect your plants from hungry small animals. Later on when your plants are tall and overcrowding each other, you won’t have room to do any big changes to how your garden is structured, so do this before you plant in the spring.
Sometimes cold weather can feel never ending, but at some point everything will warm up again and you’ll be itching to get a new garden started. Don’t wait until the warm weather inspires you to get planting to actually get busy in your garden. There are actually plenty of things you can do during the winter to prep for spring that will save you time in the future.
Do something simple, like tossing out dead plants and testing the pH levels of your soil to get your new plants’ home ready for their arrival. Put up a fence to protect them or make repairs and changes that you could only dream about last summer. Once you get started, you’ll be surprised at the number of things you’ll find to do before you go out and get all your new plants.
Bobbi is a contributor to many environmental publications and the editor of Living Life Green, a blog dedicated to sustainability, education, and helping people achieve a more environmentally-conscious life. She hopes to provide others with the knowledge to make conscious decisions every day.