Even tho we are still calendar wise in the winter season, late February and early march are a great time to start preparing your garden for the upcoming spring season.
Early march is the ideal moment to step out and start with your first gardening tasks of the year. We are all thinking about what should we actually do first when preparing our garden for spring. Here are few tips how to get you going before spring:
Preparing The Soil
Getting the soil ready for planting can be done in a few ways, most common ones are by using the most common gardening tools such as a digging spade, garden fork (preferably made out of carbon steel), soil rake, leaf rake and hoe (carbon steel also recommended). Preparing the soil for planting can be managed by all of these tools, the type of soil and it’s compactness will largely effect the time you need to set out for this first step.
After these initial preparations it is recommended to spread burnt manure over your soil, dig through it and if needed enrich it with mineral fertilizers.
In case your garden soil is more of a rock infused structure, you will probably have to get additional soil eventually and then preferably use organic fertilizers alongside a mix of sand. This would in a way come as an essential rebuilding task of your garden’s soil structure. The garden soil has most likely suffered throughout the winter so the steps above are necessary. The most organic and safest way to do minimal yet required work is to dig in a 5cm (3 inches) layer of manure or compost and get the garden beds prepared for the planting season.
Your garden soil is most likely in a poor condition after the Winter, so dig in a 5 cm layer of compost or manure to prepare your beds for the growing season.
Avoid The Late Frost
While the first warm days of late February and early March are simply dragging you to go into the garden and start planting more than initial preparations mentioned above are not recommended.
Even in March late frost is quite common throughout Europe and the United States as well as parts of continental Asia. Reserve planting the more sensitive cultures for the weather in the last days of March or on a safer side first week of April. Nevertheless, with current climate changes a late frost is a possibility even in April, in such an occasion the sensitive early buds and flowers are in danger of freezing over. Keep an eye on the weather just in case, if there’s a chance of frost have a clock or horticultural fleece at hand to cover your yet to bloom flowers. A simple cover such as cloth or fleece will protect the plants from freezing and dying out.
The Right Time For Sow vegetables
If you have space in your garden for a vegetable patch the beginning of April is the right moment. What you have to do before preparing it is to make sure your garden is free of any weeds. Even in February as the temperatures go higher, first weeds will start to spring up that is why regular weeding is very important. This is no doubt quite easier when the weeds are smaller, often you can simply pull them out by hand or use a small spade.
The perfect moment to start sowing directly outside is when your soil reaches the minimum overnight temperature of 6ºC in Mid April. The first vegetables to sow, and those that come first are rockets, spring onions, carrots, spinach, beetroots and lettuces.
Repair Your Lawn
If you have a garden specious enough to have a lawn this is also the right moment to reseed the grass in your lawn. By turfing the bare patches in your garden at this time of the year you will be certain your lawn is to be in top notch shape come summer. Even if you are not a celebrity with a massive green lawn, we are sure you do love to keep your tiny patch of lawn neat and green.
Finally do not forget to add a layer of mulch to the shrubs and trees in your garden, which will make them grow much stronger and greener come summer. Also do not forget those clippers this spring!
Images – Syshaus House by Arthur Casas Design