Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start prepping the garden for growing season. Whether you bought one of the 5.4 million homes sold in 2019 or you’ve been cultivating your backyard garden for decades, here are a few essential steps you’ll need to take to prep your garden for spring.
Get Your Shed in Order
Like it or not, the first step of prepping your garden for spring doesn’t really involve much gardening at all. Rather, making sure your shed is ready needs to be your first order of business. First, examine your shed. Has it held up over the winter months? Is it in sore need of reinforcement or a fresh coat of paint? If it’s a holdover from the 1960s, you might want to examine it for lead paint before moving forward. You definitely don’t want lead paint chips in your garden toolbag or buried in your yard by accident. Next, examine all of your gardening tools. Spades, shovels, and trowels will likely need a good sharpening before you use them to turn up soil. It’s also a good idea to add some penetrating oil to your tools for even easier digging. Additionally, this is a great opportunity to make sure you’re fully stocked on materials like fertilizer, topsoil, and plant supports. Doing these simple checks before you start gardening can make all the difference in the world.
Clear Out Weeds and Prune
Now that all of your tools are in order, it’s time to prep your garden beds. The first step you’ll need to take there is removing any weeds and debris that have accumulated in your garden beds during the weeks leading up to spring. In essence, anything that gets in the way of raw soil needs to be removed. Dead organic matter can be sent to the compost to properly break down. Any well-composted mulch or organic matter that’s been composted can stay, but weeds should be removed from garden beds so they’re not competing with your plants. In addition, make sure you give any flowering shrubs or young trees a good pruning. Not only can this help you better shape their growth, but it can ensure that there’s no overcrowding in your garden. As long as your pruners are cleaned and sterilized between each plant you prune, you should be good to go.
Decide What Pest Repellents You’ll Use
While it’s unnecessary to use harsh chemical pesticides, it’s important to give your plants some kind of protection against garden critters. Considering Oklahoma alone is home to more than 540 common types of pests, there’s no telling what’s lurking around elsewhere. Fortunately, there are a number of eco-friendly pesticide remedies that you can use to protect your garden. Some of the best options to consider include:
- Salt spray
- Citrus oil
- Neem oil
- Garlic spray
- Diatomaceous Earth
And this is just a small number of the eco-friendly options that you have at your disposal to protect your garden from common pests. You can also resort to practical measures like enclosed greenhouses and chicken wire for larger critters like rabbits and gophers. It’s also possible to introduce predators like praying mantis or ladybugs into your garden to take care of unwanted insect damage to plants.
Preparing your garden for spring is the start of something beautiful. As long as you make sure these steps are on your to-do list, you should be good to go for the season ahead.