How can I prepare my garden for spring?
To make sure the beginning of March doesn’t catch you off guard, use the last quiet weeks of winter to prepare your garden for spring.
Winter passes slowly but surely. Pretty soon your garden will be filled with the happy chirping of birds, plants will begin to grow after three months of winter laziness, and you’ll be circulating the dacha promoter: sowing, planting, grafting, fertilizing… which means it’s time to get the garden ready for spring now!
1. Do a garden plant inspection.
Examine your fruit trees, shrubs and perennials. Maybe some of them didn’t handle the winter well and need an “ambulance”? Or some shrubs should be replanted elsewhere, and some trees need support. Make a list of early spring chores and do them as soon as the frost has abated.
2: Clear the garden of debris and pests
Remove any broken branches, old leaves and debris. Remove fruit and pest nests from trees and shrubs and burn them.
3. shrub the trees.
Don’t trust the February thaws! Very often they are followed by repeated frosts. Such harsh temperatures are dangerous for fruit trees. To protect the bark from damage, caulk it with whitewash.
4. Protect trees from rodent infestations
In early spring, tree and shrub bark is still a staple food for the many hordes of rodents that tend to infest an ill-protected garden. To protect your garden from rabbits and mice, check the rattles on the boles and replace them if necessary, as well as the snow around the trees.
Rodents don’t like to look either. This is another reason to whitewash trees in the spring.
5. Bedding circles.
In late winter to spring, when the snow has already melted but the chance of new frosts is high, it is important to additionally insulate the plants. Mulch will help keep the heat in, and in the spring, with the onset of the growing season, it will delay the growth of weeds.
It is important not to overdo with the amount of mulch and leave a gap of a few centimeters around the stem, so that together with weeds it does not suppress the growth of the plant itself.
February is the time for winter grafting of fruit trees. It’s a good time to prepare cuttings and rootstocks from the fall and begin the procedure.
7. Buy planting material
Take time to go to the nursery for seedlings and buy bulbs and seeds.
8. Check your inventory
Check your garden’s inventory. Maybe you need a new cultivator or rake. Or are the shovels “asking” for repairs? Clean, repair your tools and buy new ones if necessary. Get ready for the season!
9. Fix your fence, gazebo, trellis
You can argue that once planting and pruning season starts, you won’t have time to bring a rickety fence or a rickety trellis “back to life.” Take time out of your busy, but necessary, late-winter work so that you don’t have to think about it in the spring.
10. Install a barrel to collect rainwater
Early spring is the rainy season of the year. Considering how beneficial rainwater and meltwater are to plants, it would be unforgivable to lose such a treasure! Place a barrel under a drainpipe so that not a drop can escape.
11 Set up a place for the compost heap
Dry branches, last year’s fallen leaves, and mulch that you have cleared from the garden are all the basis for a compost heap. If you haven’t already reserved a space for it, do so immediately.
12. Make a floor.
Like all living things, the soil in your garden has been depleted and “tired” after a long winter. Spring is the most fertile season to apply fertilizer of all kinds, since young plants now need to gain strength for active growth. Fertilize after all the snow has melted and the ground has thawed.
13. Make a planting plan
If you want to change the arrangement of the plants in your garden, you need to think about a planting plan beforehand. Maybe this year you want to protect the space with a picturesque hedge. Or transplant blueberries to a sunny spot? Going for such procedures without a garden map won’t go away.
As you can see, even during the winter rush, there’s plenty for the gardener to do! Following these 13 essential recommendations will save you time and energy during the “hot” spring season. You’ll see: The garden will thankfully respond to your care and reward you with lush blossoms and abundant fruit-bearing.
Related cheat sheets: 8 essential things to do in the garden in early spring
If you need to strengthen your patio, dig a pool, build a garage or a bathhouse, you need to plan all of these things now by preparing your plot in advance. This is especially true for those who can visit the dacha only on weekends, and in the summer they are already planning a vacation out of town. Clearing the site of debris, removing stumps and logs from dried trees takes more than one week. Then you need to buy and bring materials, carry out the work – three months of spring fly by quickly, so it is better to start as early as possible.
2 Protect conifers from burns
There is more sunshine in March and it reflects off the snow. Young conifers and shrubs can suffer. To prevent this, cover the plants with a lightweight, breathable material. You can cover them entirely or just the south side – that’s where most of the rays fall. Also pay attention to the condition of the branches and check periodically for yellow needles. When the snow melts, the cloth can be removed.
3 Prune the plants.
In early spring, prune trees and shrubs whose growth needs to be stimulated. Damaged and withered parts are also removed. As long as the plant has not woken up from the winter, it will have an easier time recovering from this procedure. However, be sure to ask about the pruning schedule for each species. Not all trees can be touched in spring: shoots are trimmed in late summer, for example. Fall is also the time for shapely pruning to create a beautiful crown.
4 Treat damaged trunks
Take a good look at the trunks of the trees in your garden. In winter they can be bitten through by rabbits or mice and the bark can break through ice. All injuries should be treated with a special oil-based compound, which creates a protective film on the surface and prevents bacteria from getting to the beginning of the tree faster than sap.
5 Hang bird feeders
March is a good time to attract beneficial birds to the garden to help control pests. Hang feeders away from the house and close to the fruit trees you want to protect from caterpillars and pests. If there are already feeders on the property, clean them of accumulated debris and fill them with fresh feed.
6 Cleaning and treating greenhouses
To prepare the greenhouses for the first planting, you should clean them and treat the glass walls from the inside: e.g. with a 10% sodium hydroxide solution. This destroys mold spores, pathogenic bacteria, and parasite eggs that may have remained after the fall. In late March, when the snow melts, the soil can be renewed and prepared for the first seedlings.
7 Shake the snow off thin branches
Go around shrubs and young trees and gently shake excess snow off their crowns. When the thaw begins, the snow melts during the day and turns to ice in the evening. Under this weight, thin branches break easily.
8 Cover beds for early vegetables
Cover the beds where the first spring vegetables will be planted with cling film to encourage snowmelt and saturate the soil with water. Install the film on the arches, leaving an air gap.
Cover photo: ShutterStock
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