Spring is just around the corner and the thoughts of avid gardeners are turning towards preparing the garden for spring planting. Apart from the usual beautification of the garden with annual bulbs and new borders, spring has always been associated with thoughts of food production. Spring was celebrated by ancient cultures as it signaled the return of their food supply after the long winter months.
If you are a natural food enthusiast who would like to try your hand at growing your own vegetables, here are a few tips on how to get your garden ready for spring planting. Gardening is hard work, and regardless of whether you live in a sunny climate or a colder region, the most important task in preparing your garden for spring growth is cleaning up. The more successful your clean up operations are now, the better your garden will grow throughout spring and summer. There is no better feeling than sitting back outside your handy work.
Other than aesthetics, the most important reason for cleaning up your garden its to get rid of pests and reduce the risk of infestation by insects and disease during the new season. The following steps will get you started:
1. Clean up perennial borders and beds by cutting down dead growth, digging up and removing plants that are diseased, and raking up all fallen leaves and stems.
2. If you have fruit trees, remove any fallen fruit and debris left over from the winter months to prevent disease from entering the soil and affecting new spring growth.
3. Ensure that you have done a thorough clean-up job by inspecting the surface of the soil for any debris or growth that may have been overlooked before you start preparing the soil.
4. Till the soil to loosen it up and remove all weeds. Healthy soil will produce healthy plants and tilling the soil helps it to dry out and warm up for planting.
5. After the soil has been tilled, it is time to feed it with loads of compost to ensure strong root growth.
6. Top the soil with a good layer of rich mulch after planting to retain moisture and prevent weeds from taking hold.
7. Part of getting your garden ready for spring involves cleaning up the garden shed, and maintaining gardening tools such as shears and mowers by having the blades sharpened or replaced, ready for use during the new season. If you have a sprinkler system, check that it is working properly and repair any leaks. You may need to employ the services of an arborist to cut back overgrown tree branches to allow more sunlight into the garden.
8. Make a plan by thinking about your goals for your spring garden before you start planting. This may include things like adding a vegetable patch or an additional flower bed, making use of versatile containers or improving the overall design of your garden. Draw up a checklist of everything you would like to accomplish this spring and tick off the items as you make progress.
9. Keep in mind last yearís planting and the need to divide perennials to increase the space between them.
10. Consider going organic. To make a transition to organic gardening, find organic fertilizers and new ways to control pests. Make space for a compost pile and try to collect rain water from the gutters. Plant organic seeds and plants that naturally repel garden insects.
The above tips will help you get your garden ready for the spring and ensure healthy soil to support your new plants, whether they be flowers, vegetables or fruit trees, and supply you with an abundant spring and summer harvest.