Although I found this year’s flower and home show held annually in Richmond somewhat disappointing because of absence of several of my favorite gardening vendors, it did get me excited in the anticipation of spring. Moreover, I found a unique handcrafted bench, perfect for a cozy corner of our small court-yard style garden, I had always been on the lookout for.
True, the first day of spring is still weeks away, but the signs indeed are in the air: days are getting slightly longer, buds on some trees and shrubs are breaking, spring-flowering bulbs are poking their heads above the ground, early ones already in bloom, and most of all, Robins, the harbingers of spring have arrived. Nevertheless, as anxious as we are to get started, past experience has taught us that some activities simply cannot be rushed. So, now is a good time to gear ourselves up and get ready for the coming gardening season. Listed below therefore, in no particular order, are some suggestions to help plan and ease this transition time:
- If you prefer to order seeds from mail-order nurseries, it’s better not to wait too long as popular varieties do get sold out.
- On a relatively mild day, get a jump-start on weeds by tackling them manually – a perfect way to get sunshine, fresh air, exercise and work done too.
- Clear and prepare beds where vegetables, herbs or flowers are to be grown. Consider making raised beds to make gardening easier and enjoyable if body is giving signals of aging; for the same reason, invest in ergonomic tools.
- Start seeds indoors, timing in such a way that seedlings are ready when it is safe to plant outdoors.
- Inspect tools in the shed or wherever they are kept. Discard those that are damaged or not of any use anymore and see if the pruning ones need sharpening.
- Learn about spring lawn care before buying supplies. The Chesterfield Extension Office is an excellent helpful resource for such information.
- Remove any debris or last year’s dead foliage around perennials taking care not injure the new tender growth, especially as in peonies, which already is or will soon be making way through the ground. Also, apply slow-release fertilizer such as Plant-tone once new growth can be seen.
- Get together with gardening friends to share tips and tricks that can be implemented when spring arrives.
- Last, but not the least, go easy on the winter-rested muscles. Try to stretch or do some warm-ups before starting garden work.