How To: Prepare for Spring Now
As fall winds down, with crops ripening and being harvested, perennial flowers and bushes being put to bed beneath a blanket of mulch and the yard cleaned up of debris from the past year, winter is creeping closer. With its arrival, many would think that the year is finished, as far as plantings and so forth. However, a gardening idea for spring time is born as you sit next to the cozy fire, thumbing through seed and garden catalogs.
Looking at last years accounting of gardening activities, successes and failures, you make a new plan for a new year. It can’t be started too soon, some gardeners say. If you had access to a digital camera, you may have snapped pictures of the beauty surrounding you outside, to be poured over and enjoyed throughout the long winter months.
It is also a great time, tucked away in your garden shop or garage from the cold, howling winds, to sharpen all of your tools, cleaning them up and preparing them for their next years’ duties. Oil the moving parts of tools, sharpen the cutting ones and repair any damaged handles of others. Run the gas out of the lawnmower before storing it, as well as the rotor tiller and other engines.
When the seed catalogs are spread around you and your pencil is sharpened sufficiently, make your order for the next year. Consulting your last years garden activities, make your choices based on the success and not so successful results. If a new fruit or vegetable catches your attention, make a decision to try it or not. Progress is great but sticking with the tried and true is also a good choice. Perhaps a little of each is in order.
Another good idea is to use the winter months for preparing your fruit trees for another round of fruit-bearing by trimming and pruning them to make them stronger. This is also the best timing for dormant oil spray to catch the little critters ‘bugging’ your fruit and making it impossible for them to come out and snack on your favorite apple or pear this next growing season.
If you have hedges that have outgrown their boundaries, just before the growing season begins, take your handy-dandy little lopping shears out and attack it. If the branches are sufficiently small, your hedge trimmer will work as well. If the branches and limbs are very big, chain saws eat them up easily.
If a new flower or veggie bed is in your plan for the following year, get ahead of it by marking it out and covering it with a thick bed of mulch. Grass clippings, leaves, even newspaper held down by these other things, will make it a snap to till up later. This is especially true if it is grass you will be tilling up. By spring, the grass will be dead.
So you see, the months before spring are not wasted. The successful garden starts in the cold, harsh winter time. Even if you garden in a moderate climate, the garden will benefit by taking a little rest in the winter. It will gather its strength, with help from you, and burst forth in abundance with a gardening idea for spring time.