5 Winter Projects To Prep for Your Best Spring Garden Yet
Just because the summer gardening season is over doesn’t mean you can’t plan to get your hands dirty next spring! Use winter to evaluate (or re-evaluate) your spring gardening goals and then set yourself up for success to grow your best harvest yet! If you’re new to gardening, don’t fret. Here are some tips we put together to help you get started on 5 winter projects to do now:
1. Plan Ahead
Use a garden planner to map out and maximize your growing space. Then, order your seed catalog and decide what varieties and produce to plant. There are so many options to choose from; and by spring, the grocery store’s produce won’t be able to compete with your homegrown harvest!
2. Weeding, Weeding and More Weeding
Fall and winter are the best times to weed the garden. The beds are clear of produce, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally yanking that prized tomato plant out of the ground. Before you reach for the Roundup, consider doing your soil a favor by opting for more natural weed killer options. Once you’ve finished cleaning the beds, fill them with plenty of mulch; it not only helps to keep the weeds out, but it also provides your soil with a host of beneficial nutrients.
3. Show Your Soil Some Love
One of the first things you learn in gardening is that not all soil is alike. Plants can die simply because the soil doesn’t drain well or it doesn’t hold many nutrients. Winter is the perfect time to test and amend your soil mix. There are a variety of soil testing kits available on Amazon, but if you really want to take it to the next level, consider having your soil tested at your county’s local extension office or check out this soil testing laboratory database to find a location near you. Once you have an idea of what your soil needs, get those hands dirty and mix it up. To maintain the quality of your soil, make sure to do ongoing maintenance such as applying compost, cleaning up dead material, practicing crop rotation and growing cover crops for the winter.
4. Clean ‘Em Up
Don’t just toss your gardening tools in the garage and forget about them, clean them up for storing until the spring. Disinfecting your garden tools is a good way of warding off potential pests and disease. And don’t forget to sharpen up any tools that are dull. Nothing is more frustrating than gearing up for some pruning or weeding and the tools are too dull-making it difficult to cut and trim. Tools that are sharpened regularly will last longer, too.
5. Cover Up from the Cold
Your garden bed clean-up is done and now’s the time to protect any winter plants from the coming frost. Consider investing in portable cold frames or row covers to keep the warmth in and the cold out. Another option is to invest in a greenhouse or build your own. You can start your seeds inside and once the last frost is over, you can move them into the ground. This is a method to use for those that live in very cold regions.
Article originally appeared on RE/MAX.