When spring arrives, the urge to get outside and start planting can be hard to resist — even for those with a brown thumb. Here are some tips on what to do and when to do it for a healthy, bountiful garden.
Early Spring — You may find yourself snowed in or rained out when spring first begins, or maybe you’re just deterred by the muddy state of your yard. Be ready to act when conditions are ripe.
- Rake leaves, clear sticks and remove any debris that could hinder proper drainage.
- Check trees for signs of damage or decay. Remove loose or dead tree limbs, and prune flowering trees and shrubs.
- Pull early-growing weeds to help reduce weeding later in the season.
Mid-Spring — Once things have dried out, you can begin to make some real headway.
- Start a compost pile to enrich the soil and help it retain water. Grass clippings, leaves, coffee grounds, and fruit and vegetable scraps are common compost items.
- Check your plant hardiness zone to determine the best vegetables to grow in your climate and decide what you’ll be planting.
- Use a planting guide to find out the best time to start sowing seeds or transplanting starter plants, and get planting. Consider carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and herbs.
Late Spring — This is when your gardening really kicks in.
- Establish a plan for dealing with common garden pests before they become a potential problem. Here’s a helpful series on organic pest control.
- Add an even layer of mulch to the soil around new plantings to deliver nutrients, control weeds and conserve moisture.
- Maintain your growing garden with adequate water and fertilizer for a plentiful harvest.