Before you begin planting a garden, here are a few spring gardening tips to help you start preparing your garden for planting. Putting in some effort on these garden chores will ensure you have your best growing season ever!
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When To Implement These Spring Gardening Tips
I realize that it’s barely March, but here in Georgia spring comes early. Dandelions are popping up and my crocuses have been blooming for weeks. I have been searching the web for some spring gardening tips to ensure that I have at least a little bit of success with this season’s plantings.
Honestly, I am a GREAT planter but not always such a good grower so I need all the help I can get. I spent an hour or two outside last week preparing my garden beds for a new crop and thought I would share a few of my spring gardening tips with you.
When to prepare your garden for spring depends on your particular zone. For us here in Georgia, that is probably around late February or early March. If you are in Vermont, you will have to wait til late April to mid May.
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Pull out all of last season’s plants:
I attempted a winter garden again this year and once again had very little luck. While the gardening books SAY that Georgia has 3 seasons for planting, I haven’t seen much success with my fall plantings.
My rutabaga were the size of golf balls rather than baseballs and wouldn’t feed a child, much less a family of 4. My broccoli was doing great until a freak warm front in January caused it all to bloom and my cabbage grew wonderful leaves with no heads. It’s a good thing I am not depending on my garden for a source of food or we would all be very hungry!
Turn over and Amend your soil:
I like to add compost and turn the soil a few weeks before I am actually going to plant. This allows the compost to really become well incorporated into the soil. It also gives the worms time to help break down all the bits that haven’t biodegraded yet.
I will usually turn the soil again right before I plant to help aerate it a little bit. My personal favorites for soil amending are cow manure, mushroom compost, and compost from my own bins. Composting at home is a great way to reduce your trash output while at the same time creating food for your plants.
Plan Your Garden:
One of the most important spring gardening tips I can provide is to start planning NOW. Depending on what you want to plant you may need to order from a catalog and that will take some time to arrive.
Don’t wait til the last minute to decide what you want to grow. For early season plants, I will be putting in an assortment of lettuces, radishes, snow peas, cabbage, and onions. I would like to try some elephant garlic this year but never see it in the stores so I will have to order it online.
Beets and carrots will be on my spring planting list again but have yet to actually grow anything a decent size from my backyard. I really enjoy finding unique heirloom plants to grow and if you want to find some truly neat looking veggies, check out the Seed Saver’s Exchange.
Repair Garden Beds as Needed:
I have a tendency to put odd little garden beds all over my back yard. I don’t have enough land for an actual large garden bed with rows so I tend to rip out bushes willy nilly in my landscaping a build a bed there.
Some of them are made of stones, bricks, or cinder blocks that have shifted and need adjusting. Others are made of wood that may or may not have survived the winter. I think I will be heading to the garden center to replace a couple of mine this year. And I think I see a few more bushes that I don’t need…
Prune Back Overgrown Bushes:
Throughout the year, the bushes, trees, and shrubbery that surround my yard grow quickly. It usually ends up overshadowing my garden beds and blueberry bushes, necessitating a trip outside with the pruning sheers.
Your garden will need as much sun as it can get. You don’t have to actually remove entire trees to increase the amount of sun your plants get. Often, just trimming a few branches will let in lots of light.
Tackle Early Weeds:
I am not a huge fan of spraying chemicals in my yard, especially near my food plants. Weeds, however, drive me nuts! I try to tackle them early to keep growth in check. Dandelions and wild strawberry are slowly taking over my yard but at least they are ORGANIC dandelions and strawberries, right?
Pull weeds after a good, hard rain when the soil is soft and roots come out easily. Use large quantities of mulch like pine straw, pine mulch, etc to keep growth in check. This will also help keep moisture in your soil.
Salvage What You Can:
Depending on what area of the country you live it, it is possible that a few things survived the winter and are just waiting to be harvested. While tilling the garden soil I discovered a few stray potatoes that didn’t get harvested last summer.
I also found a couple of onions but they were too small to be worth doing anything with. My parsley really survived the winter quite nicely so I just pulled off a few dead leaves and cleaned up the soil. If you planted root vegetables you might want to dig around under ground and see what you missed!
Keep track of Gardening with a Garden Journal
I really recommend starting a garden journal to keep track of exactly what you grow, what you feed it, and how it thrives. Check out this beautiful garden journal on Amazon if you want to start one.
In my yard, each bed gets a totally different amount of sunlight, depending on where in the yard it is. I try to keep track of which vegetables thrive in which beds to maximize my yield each year.
Like these spring gardening tips? Read these garden ideas, too:
- 5 Edible Flowers for Your Backyard Garden Edible flowers are a great way to add a burst of color to your food. A bright yellow blossom in your salad or a soft purple bud on your soup can really make your meal visually appealing.
- How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden Have you just planted your precious snow peas? Are you wondering how to keep animals out of the garden so that you can actually eat them? Here are some natural ways to keep animals out of the garden and away from your summer produce.
- 10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Organic Food Growing your own food is important, however, it can also be a bit challenging. Learning how to grow ORGANIC food is even more tricky.
My biggest problem is an assortment of garden pests and diseases that I am still trying to learn how to conquer. Black spot on tomatoes, chipmunks, tomato horn worm caterpillars, and an assortment of other issues are a constant battle in my backyard garden adventure.
My game plan so far has been to try to plant enough that I can share with whatever critters come to call but I think they are starting to get more than their fair share of my harvest! Have you started cleaning up your garden yet? Have any spring gardening tips you want to share with me? Not sure what to plant first? Read this post:
5 Plants for an Early Spring Garden
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.