Celebrate Spring’s Arrival With Great Gardening Preparations

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Little is more exciting to gardeners than the coming of spring. Watching the earth wake up after a winter’s nap means a revival of seeds, soil, buds, and blooms. It’s time to make preparations for the coming growing season—hurrah!

Seed starting. One of the earliest opportunities for gardeners to enjoy their plants is with indoor seed sowing. It’s an inexpensive way to get a jump on spring, and many plants that grow well from seeds benefit from the early, indoor start. As the AARP points out, you’ll want to check the frost date for your location before sowing. Count backwards from that date in accordance with the seed packet instructions to ensure you allow time for germination. You can sow seeds in egg cartons, newspaper pots, cardboard boxes, sections of tubes from toilet paper or paper towels, or halves of eggshells. A sunny window is a great spot for most seedlings to develop, or you can build a cold frame in your yard. 

Order plants. Are you considering adding some plants to your garden and landscape this year? You can get ahead by drawing up your garden plans now. Many suppliers take orders well in advance of when plants should go in the ground, and they ship at the appropriate date. Do you have pets? When making your plant selections, consider options that are dog-friendly. For instance, purple basil is a delicious cooking herb that packs a wallop in your landscape with its rich color. Another terrific dog-safe plant selection is the African daisy. Blooms come in bold colors, and the plants are drought tolerant, making them well-suited for pots or areas that don’t get a lot of water during dry spells.

Prep your equipment. Is your lawn and garden equipment ready to go to work? Bob Vila recommends scheduling your lawn mower for its annual checkup as a part of your springtime lawn preparations. Look over your other tools and devices to ensure they are ready for business. Metals often need cleaning and lubrication, and small engines might need a tune up. 

Begin weed removal. A couple weeks before the last frost, the ground is typically warm enough to start working on weeds. Turn over areas prone to heavy weed growth so weeds can’t take root. Pull difficult weeds like dandelions and dock weed. Put rock salt on gravel paths and driveways to kill weeds, but be careful if you have pets, because the salt can be harsh on paws. 

Remove leaves. Any leaves and debris left over from the fall should be removed from your landscaping. Sometimes, they just blow in over the course of winter, so double check even if you did a great job removing them last year. 

Check perennials. Many perennial plants, as well as trees and shrubs, enjoy some attention in the spring. Check for plants that need to be cut back or that could use dividing. Trim ornamental grasses and fruit trees as well. 

Shape up your grass. Spring is a terrific time for dethatching your lawn. Thatch is a thick layer of organic matter that develops at the base of grass stems. It can encourage fungal growth and pests, and prevent grass seeds from germinating. Either dethatch your lawn with a rake or rent a special dethatching device.

Invigorate decor. Is your garden decor weary from winter weather? HGTV notes spring is a great time to give it a refresher. Wind chimes, garden stakes, signs, and gazing globes can be pulled out of storage. Ensure they are cleaned up and ready to add their sparkle and pizzazz to your landscape. Any items that spent winter outside may need a little extra care, so give them a careful once-over. 
Welcome spring! Give spring a warm welcome this year. Celebrate by giving some TLC to your plants, yard, garden, and equipment. The growing season will be here before you know it!