Start Prepping Your Garden for Spring

Credit: Susy Morris/Flickr

Time for a head-start.

Spring is a month away. While there are still a few snowflakes falling here and there (quite a few if you live up north, but them’s the breaks), it’s gradually getting warm enough for nature to start waking up again. Dormant seeds and bulbs are starting to sprout, the birds are starting to come back, and the ants are just itching to find someone’s pants to jump into. If things have reached a relatively comfortable temperature where you are, consider getting the jump on a few outdoor chores so you can get your garden started in earnest in March.

First, start trimming the dead stems. Obviously, not everything is going to survive the winter, but you can cut those dead stems out and grind them up into mulch. More space for new plants, plus a little vitamin M to get things in gear. I’d call that a win-win.

Next, scan for weeds. Any weeds that set up shop during the winter are going to go bonkers when Spring comes, so you’ll want to go ahead and put a stop to that before it gets started. Chickweed and shotweed in particular are common suspects.

Finally, typical garden pests like gophers and voles are starting to come out of hibernation around now, so you’ll want to set up some traps and defenses to ward them off. Don’t use poison, though; their bodies could attract bigger problems.

These three things will do for the time being. You might feel tempted to start working on your grasses, but I’d advise against it; the ground is still a bit too damp, so if you start messing with the soil, the water may get trapped underneath and make things all soggy.