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Are your fingers itching to get into the dirt? Mine too, and I cannot wait to get started on my favorite spring gardening tasks.
Before you can start to garden, you need to prepare with the right tasks. You can’t just plant everything without planning and preparing ahead of time.
12 Spring Gardening Tasks
1. Organize Your Gardening Plans
The beginning of the year is the time to create and organize your gardening plans. No garden should be started without a plan. You need to know what you want to grow, how much you need to grow, and how many garden beds you need to have.
I start making my gardening plans in January and February. My seeds are ordered in February so that I can start the seeds indoors in March. I get so insanely excited to order seeds, don’t you?
2. Research, Read Books & Valuable Articles
You will never know everything about gardening. Perhaps that’s why I love it so much. Each year, I learn something new.
Last year, I learned how to make vertical arches in my garden beds and how to grow ground cherries. That means I had to watch YouTube videos, listen to gardening podcasts, and read books.
I read articles about how to grow different plants and watched videos of people creating vertical arches in their garden beds.
Now is the time for you to look at those gardening plans you already have and figure out what you need to learn more about. Perhaps you’ve never grown a particular plant and need to do some research.
You got the time now!
3. Inventory What You Have
Before the season really starts, take a look at what you have available for you. It’s the best time to look at what seeds you already have so you don’t spend too much money on seeds (or give yourself more of a budget to try new plants.
It’s also a good time to take a look at the garden tools that you have. Do you need to purchase anything else? Over time, gardening tools can get old and rusty, so they do need to be replaced from time to time.
4. Put Everything on Your Calendar
Now that you have your seeds purchased, it’s time to write out your garden plans on your calendar. This is one of my favorite spring gardening tasks because it feels REAL.
I know that the time for gardening is really approaching.
Find your last frost date based on your USDA hardiness zone. Then, look at the plants you’re going to grow.
For example, most peppers need to be started indoors 8-10 weeks before your final frost date. Take a look at your calendar, find that date and count backward. Mark it on your calendar.
Do this for all of your plants. Some need to be started 12 weeks before your last frost date and others need to be started 4-6 weeks beforehand.
5. Visit Local Gardening Shows
This might seem strange to be listed with other spring gardening tasks, but I find local gardening shows to be a huge source of information.
Not only can you find information from master gardeners in your area, but local seed savers and nurseries typically sell seedlings and seeds. Some even sell garden markers, compost, and garden decor.
The best thing about that is that you know these plants are meant for your area. You know that they can grow and handle the climate in your region, which can be problematic when you buy seedlings from a store like Wal-Mart.
Who knows where those seedlings began their lives, but it probably isn’t in your town.
You also can do some networking. See if other gardeners offer classes on a skill you want to learn. Plus, it’s a great excuse to get out of the house with some friends without kids, right?
6. Build Arches & Trellis
Now, spring gardening is about to get real.
I like to build arches and trellis before I start my garden. It gives me time to financially pay for whatever improvement I want to make. Also, I don’t need to worry that I will disrupt the seeds if I try to build them after I plant everything.
Last year was the first year that I added vertical arches to my garden, and I can tell you it was one of the biggest successes in 2019. We loved our garden arches, and this year will bring more to our garden beds.
7. Apply Compost or Composted Manure
Spring is the best time to apply compost or composted manure to your garden. If manure is NOT composted, it needs to be added in the fall to let sit in the garden beds throughout the winter.
I like to spread my compost over my beds several weeks before planting. It gives me time to let it act as a mulch, retaining moisture and killing off weeds. Then, I can till or rake it into the bed, spreading all of the nutrients throughout that my plants will need for proper growth and development.
Interested in learning more about composting?
Here are some more articles to help you learn about composting.
8. Turn Soil to Prevent Weeds
Reducing the growth of weeds is a huge spring gardening task that you need to accomplish. If you don’t get a headstart on the weeds, they’ll quickly overtake your garden, and who wants to deal with that?
Not you and not I!
I recommend that you turn the soil over to prevent weed growth. Do this several times before you plant. You want to stop the growth as quickly as possible.
9. Mulch Beds to Prevent Spring Weeds
Spring is the time to spread mulch over your garden beds. You can spread before or after planting, whichever works for you. If you want to spread before planting, you’ll just need to move the mulch to the side when you plant.
Mulching your garden beds offers several benefits that you will want to reap in your garden.
- Mulch helps the soil retain moisture, reducing how many times you need to water each week.
- Laying mulch stops the growth of weeds.
- Mulch helps the soil stay warmer in the cooler months and cooler in the summer months.
- Organic mulch decomposes over time, leaching nutrients into the ground.
10. Prune What Needs It
Many bushes, perennials, and shrubs need to be pruned in the spring. It’s best to do this in EARLY spring before the plant comes out of dormancy.
If you have raspberry bushes, you might need to prune them back. Fruit trees need to be pruned or planted. Many flower perennials need to be pruned as well.
11. Prepare Your Soil
Another one of the important spring gardening tasks that you need to finish is to prepare your soil ahead of time. That typically means soil testing is a needed task that lets you know what your soil needs.
Soil tests can determine if your soil needs more nitrogen, potassium, or other nutrients. Some tests also can help determine the soil’s pH level, giving you the opportunity to fix it.
12. Build New Raised Garden Beds and Planters
The last spring gardening task that you need to complete is building new raised garden beds and planters. You could do this when you’re building arches and trellis or you can build, fill, and plant as you need.
Stay Busy with Spring Gardening Tasks
Completing these 12 spring gardening tasks will have your garden in tip-top shape and ready for planting season. Soon, it’ll be time to plant seeds and seedlings in your garden.
Remember, planning and preparation lead to the best results in your vegetable garden!