If you’ve been counting the days until your snowy white yard melts into the gorgeous greens of spring then this article is for you, because I’ve got some ideas for getting your hands dirty now. It may be too early to get to your garden’s soil, but there’s plenty of prep work to be done if you want to make the most of your lawn and garden this year.
Get your greenhouse in order! Or your shed or the corner of your garage that is dedicated to your gardening… whatever space you have, getting organized before you take on any project will make everything run smoothly. After you’ve swept up your entire workspace and all the surfaces, eradicate any winter creepers that may have taken up residence with an appropriate product. Make sure to ventilate the space thoroughly afterwards.
Start with a clean slate. Clear out drainage ditches, fix your fences and trellises, and mend any containing walls that may have collapsed under heavy snows. Clean your tools and take your blades in to the local home center for a professional sharpening to make sure they’re ready to work.
Stock your gardening tote. You want to have what you need to get started, but don’t go crazy and over-shop when you see all the new supplies at the store, promising you that spring is just around the corner. Remember, you’re not stocking a nursery, but you will need a few essentials on hand:
- Tending to your plantings can be back breaking work, and a trusty wheelbarrow is a gardener’s best friend. Make sure yours weathered the winter well, oil up the wheel and clean any critters out of the nooks and crannies. If space is a concern, look for a collapsible wheelbarrow so storage during the off season is easier
- If the glove fits, wear it! With gardening gloves, proper fit is key to your comfort. If they aren’t comfortable, you aren’t likely to wear them. Try on a variety and collect the best ones for heavy-duty jobs like shoveling and moving rocks, and also for more delicate garden work like transplanting.
- Trowels are multi-purposed which may be why they’re the most commonly used handheld tools for gardening, so you’ll want to have a few different sizes on hand. For tools with more reach, a selection of rakes and shovels will come in most handy.
- Hand Pruners should be purchased specifically for right- or left-handed gardeners. More substantial pruners called loppers, should be used on branches larger than ¼” in diameter to prevent damaging your pruners and preserve the life of your tools. It’s worth it to pay a few extra bucks for a well-designed tool that fits comfortably in your hand. Pruning saws and hedge trimmers are only necessary if you’re taming with larger trees or shrubbery.
Taking the time to prepare your gardening workspace is an important step to maximize your plantings’ potential throughout the year. How are you getting your garden ready for spring? Please share your ideas in the comments below.