With spring on the way, gardeners across the nation are gathering their tools and getting ready for the planting season. But with the plethora of both indoor and outdoor maintenance tasks a homeowner has to worry about during the spring, it can be easy to forget many of the steps that are crucial to the successful growth of your garden. So, whether you have a green thumb or are new to gardening, it’s worth reading up on how to get your garden ready for spring planting!
Selecting a Good Site
Location is a very important part of determining the success of your garden. You’ll need a fairly level space that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight every day and is close to a source of water (or in a location that a water source can easily access). The soil and its consistency are other critical aspects – you’ll want to start working the soil before planting for the spring for the best chance of success. One way to test whether the soil is ready for digging is to grab a handful and squeeze it to form a ball. If the soil is easily crushable when pressing with your fingers, it’s ready for digging. If it retains its shape or breaks off into large sections, it’s too wet for now.
Amending the Soil
Next, you’ll want to ensure that your spring planting starts off well by making sure your plants can thrive in a nutrient-rich environment. Amending the soil is a process where we add materials to the soil to create this nutrient-rich environment. For most homeowners, fertilizer and mulch are the most recognizable ways to amend soil, but you may also want to consider composting or adding grass clippings to the garden for a more organic way to infuse your garden soil with essential nutrients.
Create a Spring Planting Calendar
Whether you decide to plant seeds yourself or transplant seedlings from a nursery environment, it’s important to have a plan and plant them at the proper time. Cool weather vegetables such as broccoli and lettuce can be planted fairly early on in the season, while warm weather vegetables such as tomatoes should wait until the weather warms up some more.
Also, if your gardening plan involves transplants, take care to ensure that you acclimate them before transferring them to your home garden. Leave them outside in the shade for an hour or two for a few days and gradually increase the time over the span of a week before placing in your garden.
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