A great garden requires a lot of preparation and maintenance to develop. However, even if you forgot to start your planning in the late winter, you can still have an amazing and fruitful garden this year. In honor of Earth Day, here is a checklist of five steps you need to take to get your garden ready for a successful season.
While the weather is still iffy, use this time to organize your shed or garage and go through your tools and make sure everything is in good shape. Oil hinges, sharpen blades, replace anything that can’t be repaired, and consider expanding or upgrading your collection. You would be shocked by how much easier your garden prep will be with the proper tools!
This is also an excellent opportunity to replace your supplies. Make sure you have enough fertilizer, soil, and other required materials. The last thing you want to do is have to make a pit stop to the hardware store when you’re knee-deep in perennials.
Clear out the old to make room for the new.
Throughout the fall and winter months, your garden will be exposed to the elements. The weather and outdoor environment will leave behind all kinds of weeds and debris. Preform a spring cleaning and deep purge of your garden area. Dead debris should be put into a compost pile to break down later. Mulch or other organic matter can stay where it is to be combined with the soil, but the fresher mulch will have to be raked away to expose the new dirt.
Your number one goal right now is to find any weeds that may still be alive. These must be removed from the soil right away. You don’t want to leave any living weeds as they can come back to haunt you and your garden. The same cleanup method applies to your trees and bushes. Prepare for spring by trimming off any dead or broken branches and removing all the old debris to make room for fresh new blooms.
Prep the soil.
Once the winter frost has faded, and the soil is usable, it’s time to make sure your garden is ready for planting. In winter, soil tends to become compacted and unpliable, so the first thing you will need to do is loosen it by tilling or turning.
Next, you can add compost, but be sure to utilize a soil test to see where your nutrient levels lie. This will tell you what type of elements you might need to add. If you have clay or poor soil quality, it is essential to add a healthy layer of compost to improve the nutrient content, texture, and moisture-retention. Gently rake the soil so its level and water it carefully to help release air pockets.
Create an agenda.
Consult your zone to see which vegetables, flowers, and plants are best for your region. You can also talk to someone at your local nursery to get some recommendations. Creating a plan ahead of time is essential in planting a successful garden.
According to Old World Farms, the biggest mistake a gardener can make is not to put thought into the planning of their garden. The experts there recommend creating a master grow list, making a sketch of your garden and the plans, and planning a timeline for the season. Taking the time now to prepare for not only what you will grow, but when it will need to be planted may sound simple, but it is crucial. The step is often overlooked, and by the end of the gardening process, it can cause big problems.
Top it off.
After you’ve implemented your plans and everything it’s planted it is time to top your garden off. Apply a layer of mulch where you can. Mulch is much more effective in keeping weeds at bay if you can quickly get it in place before the weeds start sprouting.
Having a home garden not only makes your backyard beautiful, but it has many ecological benefits as well. Some of the many benefits include:
- Reduced pollution.
- Instead of buying produce from your local grocery store, you can grow vegetables and fruits at home.
- Combats erosion.
- Helps balance the ecosystem.
- Contributes to clean air.
- Assists the bees in and the environment in pollination.
Home gardening promotes a healthier environment and sustainability. Sustainability is all about implementing good habits to help our planet. At Carolina Fibre Corporation, we believe in sustainability, whether its gardening, composting, or recycling.
Do you have any good ideas for sustainability? We would love to hear about them on our Facebook page!