Whether you’re planning on planting seeds, or have just started your gardening efforts, you can use these early spring gardening tips to ensure that your plants have everything they need to flourish. From improving drainage and aeration, to preventing pests, there’s a lot you can do to prepare your garden for the upcoming season.
Clean up last season’s mess
It is important to do a little spring cleaning in the garden. This can be a tad intimidating at first, but with a bit of forward planning and a little luck, you can enjoy your flowers, fruits, and vegetables once more.
The old adage that spring is the best time to plant and harvest crops holds true, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a jump start on your spruced up yard. To keep your hardy plant from freezing up in the winter, be sure to water them well during the early months of the year. Likewise, you can mulch your garden for a tad longer than normal to provide a nice layer of insulation.
One of the most fun ways to spend your time is to check out the new foliage. There are a number of reasons to do this, including observing the flowers, spotting bugs, and seeing what the foliage actually looks like. If you’re lucky, you might even be rewarded with some tasty morsels.
A rake is a must have for this task. Not only does a rake make weeding a breeze, it can also be a handy tool to move around plant debris. Another way to go about this task is to rely on a wheelbarrow. Be careful, though, not to trample any newly sprouted shoots.
Spring is also the ideal time to reorganize your garage. As you put away the tools of the trade, take a look at what you have and what you want to do. This is where a good old fashioned inventory comes into play.
Improve drainage and aeration
If you are growing vegetables and flowers in your garden, you may be wondering how to improve drainage and aeration in early spring. It’s important to aerate your soil so that the roots can get the nutrients they need to grow and bloom. You can also improve the health of your plants by adding organic materials.
Organic material is made from things such as grass clippings, compost, dead plants, and fallen leaves. These materials attract microorganisms and make the soil more hospitable for your plants. In addition, aeration helps your roots absorb oxygen for respiration and to release carbon dioxide.
Organic matter is also beneficial for improving your lawn’s drainage. Soil that isn’t draining properly can lead to root rot, runoff, and excessive fertilizer.
One way to ensure proper drainage is by using a drain system. A pipe buried in the ground or a channel leading to your gutters can direct excess water away from your garden.
Another method is to add soil additives. These include perlite and vermiculite. The latter holds more water, but it also allows less aeration.
Aeration is a process that breaks up the layering of soil, creates holes, and makes it easier for water and air to penetrate the soil. This improves the growth of your plants and reduces the need for a power rake.
Composting is another good way to improve your soil’s drainage. Composted material acts as a sponge, soaking up moisture and nutrients and allowing your soil to drain better.
Sow seeds in your indoor garden
Starting seeds indoors is a good way to give your garden an early start. It will also increase the yield of your plants and reduce weed competition.
You can start a few seeds in a plastic bag or in a seed starting container. These containers need to have a hole in the bottom and should be able to hold water. Before you sow, prepare the soil by adding a little fertilizer and a little water. This will help keep the seeds where you want them and will also keep the soil moist.
Sowing seeds indoors is not as hard as it sounds. However, you must get the timing right. The timing for sowing depends on the type of plant you are growing.
For example, a tomato can be started as early as two months before the average last spring frost. Other cool season vegetables, such as radishes and beets, are best sown directly into the ground. If you are growing kale, the timing for sowing is 3-6 weeks before the spring planting date.
There are also many perennial flowers, such as bachelor’s buttons, that should be started indoors. Many of these flowers also do well in the early stages of the growing season.
Some of the seeds that you can start indoors include corn, beans, carrots, peas, lettuce, and melons. In addition, you can start annual flowers such as sunflowers, nasturtiums, and zinnias.
Add soil amendments
Adding soil amendments to early spring gardening tips is an important step in improving your garden’s health. It can help improve the quality of the soil, increase its moisture retention, and enhance its texture.
One of the most common garden soil amendments is compost. Compost is a type of material that is made from decomposed plant materials and provides a variety of beneficial nutrients for plants. Adding compost to your garden can be a simple and inexpensive way to make your soil healthier.
Another popular soil amendment is cover crops. Cover crops provide structure to the soil as well as an abundance of nutrients. They can be planted at the end of the growing season or in the spring. Some plants grow best when they have been covered with soil amendments.
Adding a surface mulch is another good soil amendment. A good surface mulch is easy to keep track of, and will not clog your drainage system. If you want to add more nutrients to your soil, shredded leaves are a great option.
If you have an alkaline soil, you can increase its acidity by adding wood ash or agricultural limestone. In addition, you can improve the drainage of sandy soil by adding compost.
If your soil has a high pH, you can lower it with sulfur. However, sulfur will take some time to break down in the soil. Therefore, it is best to incorporate it at least 6 inches into the soil.
Prevent pests from affecting your plants
Early in the spring, you may need to prevent pests from affecting your plants. Pests can be difficult to control. But there are some simple steps you can take to protect your garden.
First, you need to be sure that you know which pests you have. This will help you estimate how many you have and what action you need to take. If you have a garden with a lot of vegetables, you might want to consider relocating them to a different area.
It’s also important to be aware of fungal pathogens. They can attack and kill pests. Cool, cloudy weather encourages these pathogens.
To keep pests away, you can make a solution of vinegar and water. The solution can be applied to the base of infested plants. You need to test the solution on a few leaves before applying it to your entire garden.
Other methods you can use to repel pests include mint, chives, and rosemary. These plant species are helpful in attracting beneficial insects, which eat insects that are damaging to your plants.
There are also some chemicals you can apply. They are effective, but you must follow the directions on the label. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask while you apply the spray.
If you don’t have time to apply a chemical solution, you can try using a household sprayer. Spray the affected plants thoroughly, focusing on the top and bottom of the leaf.