Spring chores in the garden: Love it, leave it, just do it!
It’s not too early to start thinking about your spring garden chores and putting together a checklist. If you couldn’t finish your fall and winter gardening chores, put them on the list and get them done ASAP as this will shorten your spring chores.
I know, I can see your eyes rolling and hear you moan more work. Wait a minute, hold on; it’s not really a job if you love gardening. These are simply the steps we must take in preparation for our Spring Garden, our Best Spring Garden.
A question I often hear is: “Where do I start, what do I do first?” The answer is quite simple; Grab your garden log or garden log book. If you have continued like this, you will know what was done and what was not finished. If you haven’t finished taking notes on your garden log, take some time to take notes and finish it.
If you are new to gardening and this will be your first year, the best advice I can give you is “Start a garden registry.” Write everything on it and I mean it. Here’s a short list to get you started:
- The phone number for your local county extension office.
- Names of the garden catalogs you are consulting or requesting
- Plants and seeds you are considering planting
- Frost dates for your area
- Write down the date of the last frost
- Unusual patterns in weather
- Seed start dates
- Date plants were transplanted
- Techniques you are using
- Problems you encounter and their solutions
- Experiments and their results
- Harvest dates
- Harvesting methods
- Putting the garden to bed
- Seasonal tasks
Have you planned your spring garden? If it is not the time to do it. If you are ordering plants or seeds, please do so now.
Once your garden log is up to date, a good place to start spring garden tasks is to check your tools, both hand tools and small power tools:
- Is something damaged, do they need repair?
- They are clean? This is a good time to clean them.
- Rub the wooden handles with oil.
- Perform oil changes and adjustments if needed, be sure to note the date in your equipment log
- While you’re at it, organize your tool shed so it’s ready to go.
How about the greenhouse or tool shed, plus spring garden chores?
- Do you need any repairs?
- Clean dead plants
- Clean fertilizers, insecticides, etc. expired.
- Clean all floors and containers
Remember the golden rule: Stay out of the garden until the soil is dry enough to work. This gives you time to do your other spring garden chores, including your lawn.
Now is a good time to start weeding, you will cut down on weeding time if you do it before they have a chance to seed and propagate. It will also be one less place for slugs to hide. If you are in an area infested with garden slugs and snails, start keeping an eye on them and set traps. Remove debris where it can hide.
This is the time to catch up on dead or dead flowers. Pruning can be done now, but first research the requirements for each plant and prune at the right time as it does make a difference. Yes, different plants are pruned differently and at different times. Research when, what, or how to prune a specific plant, shrub, shrub, or tree. Your local county extension office can help you with this or a local nursery.
I still remember the first time I pruned a hydrangea bush, I did not bother to investigate when, what or how to prune it or ask anyone; it was spring after all and everyone was pruning. We were new to the neighborhood and wanted to keep up with everyone else. I got to work on this 5 foot tall hydrangea bush, just looking up every now and then; He knew the neighbors were watching and he wanted to do a good job. I lowered it to just 4 or 5 inches tall in no time. Later, one of the neighbors asked my husband why he hated the hydrangea bush when he had slaughtered it. It was a couple of years before it bloomed again and it never fully recovered. For many years afterwards, I was not allowed to touch the clippers. So please do your research before grabbing the clippers and getting started.
Why is it that when we mention the word homework or tasks, we automatically think of work or something that we would rather not do? Possibly because when we were children we were asked to do chores and we thought it was a job or a chore that could have been a punishment.
If you love gardening, spring garden chores aren’t really chores; they are simply part of our spring gardening routine and preparation for the gardening season.
For a complete list of spring garden chores, of what to do in preparation for a spring garden, go to Gardener’s Checklist for Spring.