How to Prep Your Garden for Spring

February 21, 2024

Are you getting the itch to garden? Before you get your hands in the dirt, prep your garden for spring planting first. These tips will help you get started!

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My husband and I totally have the garden itch right now!  But we’re in zone 7a, so we still have some cold weather to get through before we can start planting.  While we wait for the ground to thaw, we’ve been getting ready with some garden prep.

We’ve purchased a variety of seeds, have noted dates for planting, and started seed trays indoors.  Next month, the real fun will begin!  We’ll get outside and start cleaning up the garden.  That way, it’ll be ready when it comes time to transplant our seedlings.

How to Prep Your Garden for Spring

If you have the itch and are looking forward to starting your garden this year, there is some prep you could – and should – be doing now to get your garden ready.  Before I dive into my garden to-do list, it’s important to note which zone you’re in.  You can easily do a search to find out.

Order Seeds

Since we’ve been gardening for 10+ years, we pretty much know what we’ll be growing.  But we extended our garden at the end of the summer last year.  So we decided to add a few more vegetables and flower varieties this year.  Needless to say, we’ve been doing quite a bit of seed shopping lately.

Now is the time to shop!  Most home improvement stores have seeds available right now.  Plus, you can always order them online and from seed catalogs (those are always fun to flip through).

Keep a Garden Journal

Like I said, we’re 7a and won’t be doing most of our veggie planting until around Mother’s Day.  But there are a few cold weather varieties we will be starting earlier.  To keep track of everything, I started a garden journal.

I’ve written down every single seed we’ve bought and plan to start this year.  I’ve written down the dates they need to be started and other useful information.  If you’re like us and kind of winging our garden plans for the year, you’ll be grateful to have this information handy when it comes time to plant!

Check Your Garden Tools

We basically have all the tools we need to maintain our garden.  But with a bigger garden space to plant in this year comes more work to keep it maintained and thriving.  So we’ve taken stock of the garden tools we had and added a few more.  Here are some of the tools you might want to keep handy:

If you already have the basic tools needed for gardening, make sure they’re all cleaned up, sharpened, and ready to use!

Start Your Seeds

Some of our cold weather plants (like radishes, peas, and beets) will be sown directly into the ground next month.  But plants like peppers and some of our flowers can be started inside.  So we use seed trays to start our plants.

These trays are sectioned and can be filled with a standard potting mix.  Then, plant the seeds, keep them watered, and place them in a sunny spot.

Within a week, you should start to see your seeds sprouting.  But if you want to give them a major boost, try using a grow light!  This is our first year using a grow light and it already seems to be giving our seeds a boost!

Clean the Yard and Garden

I recommend to do these last few things around Eastertime, or even a bit after.  Give things a chance to wake up.

You know all of that dead garden foliage?  It provides a habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies over the winter.  But it’s good to have the leaves in the garden since they act as mulch and keep the weeds at bay.

Once things warm up and you start to see our friendly garden insects around again, trim back any perennials that need a fresh start and clean up the leaves (add them to your compost bin).

Start a Compost Bin

Speaking of compost bins, it’s really easy to start one!  You know those large plastic storage totes?  They actually work great as DIY compost bins!

Drill holes in the top/lid and bottom of the bin.  Then, add your leaves, grass clippings, fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, and anything else compostable.

Store the bin with the lid secured on top and keep it in a shady area outdoors (ours is underneath our deck).

Bee Hotel in backyard garden.

Put Out Birdhouses, Bird Bath, and Bee Hotels

During the first week of spring, add a bird house, bird bath, bee hotel, and bee bath to your garden.  When your backyard friends reemerge, you’ll have shelter and water sources ready for them.

Birds and bees are great to have around the garden!  The birds will feed on pests and the bees will help pollinate the garden.

Learn how to make an easy DIY bee bath here.

Once we get to the beginning of April, we can have a little more fun in the garden.  We’ll be planting our cold tolerant veggies and I can’t wait to get my hands on some colorful tulips and pansies!

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