Spring is finally here, and if you’re like us, your thoughts have turned to your garden.
Maybe you already know what you want to grow, and spending your days dreaming of all the different flowers, shrubs and trees you’ll plant this year.
Or maybe you’re worried that your garden just isn’t ready. It’s been sitting idle all winter, and you’re just not sure it’s ready for planting.
If you fall into the latter category, don’t fret. You can have your garden ready for the spring planting season with these garden preparation steps.
1. Spring clean up
Start by cleaning out your garden beds, getting rid of leaves, broken branches and other debris.
You don’t want this stuff getting in the way when things begin to sprout, especially if you grow annual plants. And spend some time pruning your trees and bushes, clearing away broken or dead branches.
2. Don’t neglect your soil
Get your soil ready for the planting season. Turn the soil over to clear away weeds and add compost or manure to the soil to give it extra nutrients. You should do this a few weeks before planting, to give the compost or manure time to integrate with the soil.
Adding mulch to your soil can help keep moisture in the earth and protect against weeds.
If you’re growing vegetables, remember that different veggies need differ level of nutrients in the soil to thrive. You may need to fertilize your vegetable beds to make sure the soil has the right amount of nutrients.
You should also consider doing a pH test on your soil to make sure the nutrients will hold. Vegetable gardens should have a pH of 6.5.
3. Inspect your tool collection
Like any job, garden preparation requires the right gardening tools. Before you get started, check in with your gardening tools, especially those that have been sitting idle the past few months.
Make sure they’re ready for the season and give them a good cleaning with soap and water. If you have wooden-handled tools, consider cleaning them with mineral spirits, which can prevent splintering.
4. Try companion planting
Like the name suggests, companion planting is the practice of planting two vegetables in the same spot to boost production and save space.
Not every vegetable plays well with others. Onions and peas, corn and tomatoes and dill and carrot are all combos you should avoid. Plants that go well together include:
- Beans with cucumbers
- Carrots with cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, radish or peas
- Corn with beans, potatoes or pumpkins
5. Pay attention to the growing schedule
Keep in mind that not every plant grows at the same rate. Biennial and perennial flowers will need an early start, while container grown plants can go in the ground as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Make sure you read up on the growing season for each vegetable before you plant.
We hope these garden preparation tips help you get ready for year’s planting season. If you have more questions about preparing your garden for the spring, visit Mendham Garden Center.
For more than 50 years, we’ve been helping central New Jersey gardeners grow their best. Good luck this growing season!