Wherever you live, springtime is an awesome season. It is the beginning of life for many animals, birds, fish, and even plants. You will start seeing your trees and bushes budding, flowers will start blooming, and you will see more courting of the animals, which is really cute in some species. Watching a pair of Western Grebes do a headbanging mating dance on the water that actually looks like a tango can be such an enlightening experience if you can stop laughing long enough. Even the bees and other bugs are doing their mating rituals at this time of the year. Love is in the air!

Lush green lawn with shrubs and a fenceGet Your Yard Ready

If you live in a continental climate like I do (zones 3-7), it is not just about love though. Getting ready for spring also means getting the yard ready for planting, BBQing, and other springtime fun. In fact, it is hard to resist going out and doing just about anything once the weather starts to get warm again after the long, cold winter. But first, you need to do some things inside the house such as taking stock of what you have and what you may need for this year’s growing season. Figure out what you want to plant this year and see if you have those seeds or tubers in your storage before you start writing that list of what you need to order.

Flower seeds and seed packetsTake Stock of What You Have

Ordering the seeds should be done at least by late January, so they get to you in time for indoor planting if you plan to start your seedlings indoors. Most indoor planting should be done in February or March, so you can have them ready for the outdoors when it is time. It depends on what you are going to be planting and what planting zone you live in so check the Old Farmer’s Almanac (or whatever guide you live by) before planting anything. You also need to check and see what tools you have and what may need replacing before the season starts. There are many things you will need for gardening such as a pruner, spade, hoe, fork, rake, trowel, snippers, a good hose, watering can, wheelbarrow, buckets, and gloves. You can also make sure that your BBQ pit and outdoor furniture are clean and ready to use before you need them. I hate getting out there to BBQ and finding out my grill has rusted away over the winter. Check these things first.

wheelbarrow, garden tools and fallen leavesGet Out There

Get out and clean up the yard first before you start getting it ready. Pick up any sticks or limbs that have fallen during the winter and any other debris that may have made it into your yard. I have stray cats, raccoons, and other critters that bring stuff into my yard and leave it there all the time, which can be extremely funny or really irritating, depending on what it is. I have found some strange things in my yard that could not have gotten there anywhere else and I am not just talking about dead animals that the stray cats tend to leave as a thank you to us for being such good hosts. I once found a really nice fishing lure out under my deck that must have been stuck to one of the critters and fell off in the yard. We live a block from Table Rock Lake, so a lot of fishing stuff tends to end up in our yard. Anyway, be sure you get your yard cleaned up and ready for the planting and playing season.

fertilizing the lawnPreparing Your Soil

You want to make sure your soil is ready for planting when you are, so get out there and test that dirt. Seriously, you can get a test kit at any Walmart or gardening store, or you can get one online. You will need to check the amounts of nitrogen, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and the soil’s pH levels. If your soil is too low or high in any of these nutrients, take action right away so you will be able to plant when you are ready. The soil also needs to be aerated well before getting it ready. You can do this with an aerating tool, or they even have aerating shoes you can slip onto your feet and just walk around the yard, putting holes in the dirt. This is important for your lawn to be able to breathe and to get enough sunlight and water.

Happy dog running through the grass

Protect Your Pup

Springtime also means it is time to start letting your pooch run around outside more often too, so you need to think about some safety tips to protect your canine kid. For example, coyotes will be hunting for fresh prey, and your dog may be on their menu. You also need to make sure your fence has no holes or damage where your pooch could escape or get stuck. Walk around and make sure that there are no dangerous plants or other items that may be hazardous to your pup. Dogs are worse than babies when it comes to putting things in their mouth, so you cannot have poisonous plants anywhere your dog is going to be. After you get everything ready, just take a minute to sit there and enjoy the scenery and plan what you would like to do this year. Maybe you are planning a party or thinking of putting in a pool or water feature. Whatever your plans, you can most likely find the info on our Dave’s Garden website so just check it out.