Believe it or not, it’s time to start preparing the garden for spring even though the calendar says February 11th. Many tasks can be done inside like sharpening tools and starting seeds for flowers and vegetable plants. Pruning is a task best done on a warm, sunny winter day before trees and shrubs start pushing new growth.
While these tasks may seem tedious like pruning roses, it’s important to properly prepare your garden to be its best during the spring and summer.
Late winter/early spring are busy times in the garden. Depending on how winter goes, tasks can be done in a timely manner, or they may be rushed through in a weekend before the growing plants threaten to take over the garden. This year, we’ve had a mild winter despite predictions to the contrary. However, there’s always the threat of a late frost or snow storm. With that in mind, I have no set dates for my spring garden preparation, just priorities.
My first priority is always pruning. I prune our summer-blooming roses and fruit trees in late February/early March before the new growth starts. I also remove any dead canes in our raspberry beds.
Clean Out the Beds
Next is removal of debris and raking out the beds. I do this right before I mulch the beds in case we’re hit with a late frost. The previous year’s debris can protect the tender plants from a frost if needed.
Preparing the Vegetable Garden
Then, I move on to preparing the vegetable garden for the season since the soil will be dry enough to be handled without damaging its structure. With 12 beds to turn, I start with the beds that will be planted first in the season, and then move on to the other ones.
Spring Gardening Tasks
- Make a list of vegetables and herbs to grow this year.
- Make a list of plants to move, remove, or divide.
- Sharpen gardening tools.
- Make sure all the tools are in working order. Get them repaired now before you need them.
- Remove debris from beds and the lawn.
- Check bushes and trees for damaged limbs and remove them.
- Prune roses and fruit trees.
- Walk through your yard and note any bigger projects that need to be taken care of like removing a tree in danger of falling over.
- Also note where you want to make changes to the current landscaping.
- Mulch newly cleaned beds.
- Set up plant supports where needed.
- Turn the compost pile.
- Turn vegetable beds, adding in compost while turning. Spread a layer of compost over top as top dressing.