Of course, those of you in Florida, Hawaii, or any of those other places where it does not really get cold don’t care that spring is coming. However, for those of you who live in areas like me in the Missouri Ozarks, you are probably looking forward to the new season as you have been covered by snow and ice these past few months. For those of you who love snow and cold weather, you may even be getting sick of it about now. So, you will be happy to know, spring is just around the corner.
Getting Ready for the Warmth
No matter where you live, there are some things that need to be done before spring such as taking stock of what you have, what you need, and what you want. Because the last average frost date for many is March 15th, you still have plenty of time to get your supplies ready. Now is the time to get out there in your shed or basement or wherever you keep your gardening supplies and look around. Check your tools like the shovels, hoe, rake, pruners, and spade to make sure they are not broken, checking the handles for splitting and the blades for rust. Clean them up and get them ready. Look at your hose and make sure there are no holes or cracks in it and check the wheelbarrow and buckets for wear and tear. It is better to find out now what you need rather than waiting until you need it for something and having to run out and get it in the middle of a gardening project.
Look Around the Yard
Walk around your entire yard (not just the garden area) and look at everything. Check for any damage from the weather or holes from moles and other critters. Some holes are okay because your lawn needs air anyway, but if you have huge craters in your yard, you want to start doing something about it now. There are natural, safe ways to get rid of these critters such as humane traps, fences, and repellents like predator urine, so you don’t need to get out there with your rifle and take aim. Go around and pick up any tree limbs or debris in the yard, check your trees and bushes for damage and disease, and check your deck and deck furniture if you have any. If there are any repair projects to do, now is the time to plan them and get out there and do it before the spring rains start.
Planning the Garden
Check out the area where you will be planting your garden this year. Measure it and then draw up a garden map to figure out exactly what you will be planting and whether you need to order any seeds or seedlings. Take notes and actually draw out where you will be planting these plants, so you know how it is all going to fit. You have to know how many of each plant you will need and where it will all go before you start ordering or buying seeds and seedlings. It may be too early to buy seedlings in your neighborhood, but it is definitely not too early to buy seeds.
Plant Your Seeds
In many areas, you can start sowing some of those seeds at the beginning or middle of February. You can use egg cartons, or you can buy seed trays from a gardening store. You can use just about any kind of container, but if it does not have holes in the bottom for drainage, you will have to make your own. They don’t have to be individual sections; you can just plant them in rows like you would do in your garden. Get some good potting soil or seed compost and fill the tray to about an inch from the top. Use a spray bottle to moisten the soil before sprinkling the seeds (for the tiny ones) or placing one at a time (larger ones) and then cover them with a bit of compost or soil. Use about a quarter of an inch or less. Cover the tray to keep it dark and moist to aid in germination. You can just set something on top of it like a magazine or piece of wood. This is when egg cartons come in handy because you can just close the lid.
Security is Important
There are other things to be concerned about besides getting your garden ready. For example, a trail cam or security camera is worth its weight in gold when it comes to keeping track of who is coming into your yard. This includes those critters who have been munching on your rose bushes or digging holes in your yard. They are also pretty fun for watching the nighttime critters like raccoons and deer as they walk through your yard. I have a camera in my yard, and I have caught some pretty awesome things on it like the deer and raccoons eating right next to each other and a beautiful gray wolf that was cutting through the yard. I don’t even have it for security; I just like to post the photos on Facebook so my friends and family can see all the beautiful animals that visit us here.