Ten Tips to Prepare for a Spring Garden

I read in USA Today that winter was on its way OUT and I got really excited…but then it said that winter was not leaving without one more final blast and it’s supposed to arrive on Wednesday. In that moment…my heart sank. We might not get it here in Franklin, but my heart sank anyway for all the people who have struggled through the Winter of 2015. But I’m forging ahead in anticipation of spring and especially preparing for my spring garden! Who’s with me?

They’re pretty healthy.

I’m growing more herbs and vegetables and planting some borders for easy maintenance, plus I dug up some plants that were attracting gross bugs – like the nectarine tree that the june bugs LOVED! It’s gone. I’m going to share my garden transformation with you, but today, I thought we could all get excited about preparing for spring gardening, because you have to prepare before you can plant!

1. It’s time to order summer, flowering bulbs like ranunculus and gladiolus. You can plant them in early spring for summer flowers. I love them both in a pretty vase or pitcher. The heart stems on gladiolus make them ideal for those large vases you never seem to be able to use.

I just love them in a vase. They make me happy.

2. After the big storm leaves, clean out the flower beds. Mine are filled with leaves and gunk! You want to make sure that your flower beds and borders are neat and tidy before planting.

3. When it gets a tad warmer, search around the base of your perennials and check for garden pests. Removing them and then controlling before they emerge from hibernation will save you a lot of time and trouble. Cleaning up your beds is the best way to do this.

4. Fix fences, gates and trellis – My fence is a mess…my gate has to be redone and the trellis replaced. Winter was not kind to my exterior fencing. Check around the bottom of your fences for holes. Little creatures come through the holes and they help themselves to your new plants and they also drive your dog crazy! Just ask Sassy.

5. Clean and sharpen your gardening tools. When was the last time you did this? This is one sure way to ensure that your tools last longer than one season.

6. Stock up on gardening magazines and look for color palettes that inspire you. Don’t get caught up in creating the PERFECT garden…just gather ideas and do your research to see if you can actually grow the plants that inspire you. I used to try and grow flowers that definitely were not suited for California.

7. Figure out exactly what herbs and vegetables you want to grow and then start building your raised beds. Here’s a great article about how to build your garden bed from This Old House. Be sure to buy the netting to cover them to keep out rabbits and deer! (Never thought I’d be saying that!)

8. Clean out bird houses and prepare them for spring nests. I’m so hoping my little bluebird family returns.

This is the birdhouse where they made their home last year.

9. Feeling generous? How about purchasing a few bird feeders to attract all different kinds of birds. They don’t all eat the same thing.

10. And finally…make sure to clean all your patio furniture and clean the grill because spring and cookouts and outdoor activities are coming!

If you have gardening tips you’d like to share…please…please post them below. I’m a novice at all of this.

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