The joys and responsibilities of gardening change with each season and this time of year is always a busy one. Spring, or more specifically, the period leading up to the last frost date in your region, is the perfect time to start a few key projects to ensure that you’re ready for the upcoming growing season.
Vegetables to Plant
There are a surprising number of vegetables that do well in colder conditions. As soon as your soil regains its crumbly texture and doesn’t contain any ice, you can start thinking about getting individual plants into the ground.
Some of the most common veggies to grow before the last frost date include leeks, spinach, peas, and lettuce. Toward the end of spring, you’ll be able to move on to other seeds like onions, turnips, kale, cabbage, and broccoli. Planting small quantities with different maturation dates throughout the spring and summer will give you a variety of new plants during the harvest season.
Protecting Early Spring Plants
Although these vegetables will generally be successful when planted in the early part of the season, hard frost can damage seedlings and prevent them from growing to their full potential.
You can counter hard frost by covering your seedlings with any makeshift material. This could be a flowerpot, cardboard box, or anything else that you can securely place around the plants.
If you’re looking for a way to upgrade your garden’s functionality, moving from these homemade solutions to an entry-level greenhouse will help your early-season plants grow. Greenhouses insulate plants from fluctuating weather conditions and provide the perfect growth environment.
Another job that you should try to finish early in the season is trimming back dead foliage before it is covered by new growth. Leaving these unwanted materials alone for too long can make them much harder to prune or even prevent your plants from growing properly.
Fruit trees should also be trimmed around this time of the year, giving them room to bloom later in the season. Make sure to remove these clippings from the tree’s location to avoid running them over with your electric lawn mower during the summer or late spring.
Weeding and Mulch
Spring is the best time of the year to remove weeds, as roots are relatively shallow and they’ll be easy to access. You can cover any open areas using ground cover or mulch to limit the number of weeds that spring up throughout the rest of the year.
If you’re using mulch in your garden or close to a fruit tree, be sure to stay at least several inches away from plants and trunks. Young fruit trees need to have their bark protected from mulch to grow as effectively as possible, and this will also save your plants from rotting.
You may spend more time harvesting and eating your plants in the summer and fall, but what you do in the late winter and throughout spring can have a substantial effect on your results. These spring projects are the perfect way to get back to your garden and prepare for the season ahead.