Spring is always long-awaited and loved.
Early Spring Gardening Tips to get you started.
It is the season of romance and unpredictablity for gardeners and lovers alike. For gardeners who have been craving the smell of earth and the feel of dirt all winter long, it’s far too easy to get ahead of oneself and lose beloved seedlings to a surprise frost.
Here are some tips to get you out in the garden and protecting both the plants you have and the ones you hope to see bloom through the growing season without heartbreak.
Warm up you joints
In the excitement of being out in the fresh air and sunshine, it’s easy to forget that you use different muscles to work in the garden than you do to shovel snow. Before you pull on your wellies and gardening gloves, take a moment to stretch and bend to make sure your back, knees, elbows and wrists are ready to move with the trowel.
Look for life while you clean
As the snow recedes, the winter accumulation of dog waste and tossed coffee cups can dampen your gardening enthusiasm faster than an April shower. As you clean up the yard for the real gardening to come, look for the shoots of new life that are already starting to appear. Snow drops lead to the light green tips of crocusses then the tulips and daffodils won’t be too much longer. As the birds return to the gardens looking for insects and worms, make a note of when the pussywillows appear and give endangered bees their first food of the season.
Plan, plan and plan some more, but resist the plant
Yes, you have been planning your garden all winter. Yes, your seedlings are starting under the lights in the basement. Yes, the nursery is full of brightly coloured blooms just waiting for the rich soil. Plan some more. Lavish the seedling with attention. Bring home the flowering nursery plants and introduce them to their neighbours in the basement, but resist, resist, resist the urge to plant. It is still too early and a late snowfall or hard frost could still interrupt all your carefully-made plans.
Test the beds
You may be able to turn the beds you prepared last fall, or you may still have frozed ground less than a spade length under the surface. Test the beds to see what you can do to ready them for the thaw. If they are still frozen, you can turn your attention to the compost pile and turn that while the temperatures are low enough to dampen the odours that have been brewing and breaking down all winter.
Mend the fences
Early spring is often the time to mend fences, trellises, the walls of raised beds and any containers that have been sitting out all winter. If you haven’t seen your neighbours all winter, it’s also the time to spend time getting to know them again as you chat over fences and enjoy the new warmth. You might even have some time to swap seeds as you share an entire winter’s worth of news.