Get Your Garden Ready to Grow
In warmer Southern climates like North Texas, by the second half of February, we’re on the brink of Spring — temperatures are warming up, the ground is softening and weeds are getting ready to make a grand re-entrance. All of that means it’s planting prep time.
Whether you’re a gung-ho gardener or just have some minimalist landscaping, here are a few steps to get your beds ready for the growing season.
A Clean Sweep
The first thing you’ll want to do is to remove any debris that might have gathered in your garden beds during the winter.  Whether it’s stray fallen branches, straggling weeds or a couple wayward Christmas light bulbs, now is the time to clean all of it out.
Prepare the Equipment
One of the most important steps in preparing your garden is making sure that the tools you’ll use to maintain it are ready to go. It’s time to pull your tools out of the shed, clean them off and check for any maintenance needs. This is the time to take stock of what, if anything, you’ll need to replace. If you have any tools that require sharpening, get that taken care of also.
Test the Soil
Before actually planting anything, you’ll want to make sure that your soil is thawed and not too wet. A good test is to take a handful and try and compress it into a ball. You’re looking for it to be dry enough to fall apart in your hand instead of staying balled up, proof that it’s dry enough to work with. Working with soil that isn’t ready yet can have long term consequences for the rest of the season, so it’s worth the wait!
If it is dry enough to work with, then you can start loosening up the soil by tilling it with a trowel or garden fork.
If you have a compost pile going, now is the time to use some of that to spread over your garden bed in an even layer. If you don’t have some of your own, you can buy some. You can also apply a good quality fertilizer after the compost.
If you saved any of your leaves from last fall as mulch, or grass clippings and other yard debris, now is the time to use them! Rake them into the top layer of your soil.
Although not all plants should be pruned at the same time, there are many plants that do benefit from a good trim right before their primary growing season in the Spring. Dead end your shrubs, especially woody perennials. If you do have a compost heap, those dead ends can be saved for added fuel.
Any plants that take a particularly long growing time can be started from seed now, indoors if you’re worried that another few freezes might still happen. Materials for starting seedlings indoors are inexpensive and ultimately can result in plants already being hardy by the time they get placed in the ground.
Do you need help with getting this pre-planting to do list knocked out? We’re here for you! Find out what services we offer.
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