Reprinted with permission of the National Garden Bureau:
Springing Out into the Garden
In honor of last week’s first day of spring, we want to acknowledge how eager many of us are to get back to digging in the dirt. Those of you lucky enough to be in warmer climates have already been able to do so but in some of the colder areas, we are just beginning to gingerly creep back outdoors to see what Mother Nature has in store for us this year. So what are some of the priorities or tasks that you can do before that coveted last average frost date for your area?
First, don’t walk on or work the garden soil until it’s dry enough or you’ll risk soil compaction. Until the soil is ready (click here to read about testing your soil for spring planting), work on clean-up projects and preparing other parts of the garden.
While waiting for that soil to dry out, you can plan your summer veggie garden if you haven’t already done so. There are many seeds that can be started indoors, under lights in March and April and Pinterest is full of ideas for growing from seed.
If you let some perennials go to seed last fall for your feathered friends, you can prune most of those back now. A list of perennials to prune in the spring can be found here.
Some perennials can be divided in spring while they are still small and manageable. Here’s an article from Burpee about how to divide perennials.
If you see any weeds popping up, pull now while the soil is damp and porous.
Now is the time to clean out dead debris from perennial beds then mulch if needed. Add compost to your empty beds and work it in thoroughly to prepare for spring and summer plantings. Here’s how to add compost to an established garden bed.
Planning your veggies and want to find out which veggies are trending in the restaurant industry? Johnny’s Selected Seeds has a blog that covers several vegetable classes deemed “hot” by the National Restaurant Association.
Lettuces and various greens like cooler growing conditions – see tips here from Park Seed:
Peas are another crop to grow in cooler climates. You’ve probably heard that some areas can plant on St. Patrick’s Day but a better indicator is when the garden soil reaches 45 degrees. Here is a growing guide for peas from Territorial Seeds.
That should be enough to keep you busy until it’s officially planting time…now go enjoy the spring temperatures!
Let’s Go Garden!