Tips for a Spring Gardening

We whine and pine for Winter to be over, and then Spring arrives and we… freeze.

We don’t know what to do first. There is so much to do! Digging, planting, sowing, pruning, mowing! What to do first? You don’t know. You run around in circles, skitter around from one part of the garden to the other.

You might even have a genuine fear of getting started after all those months of thinking about and planning for the perfect garden.

But the quest for perfection isn’t what gardening is all about. We all know that–well all of us except some of those rose growers and other flower show exhibitors.

A garden is going to be full of
imperfections, full of life, full of fun.

So let’s just calm down and get started with these five tips on how to be ready in the spring to start gardening just as soon as we have one of those glorious "teaser” days when the sun shines and the high temperature is in the 60’s.

1. Review your garden journal to remember when things really happen.

When you realize when plants bloom and sprout and when you first planted and sowed and mowed in past years, you’ll remind yourself that everything in the garden doesn’t happen at once. Spring isn’t a day, it’s a season, and it takes time for the garden to wake up and for you to garden.

2. Write down the major projects you want to accomplish in the garden this year and the first thing you need to get each one started.

Then if you are on a roll, write down everything else you need to do for each project, when you think you can do it, what you need to buy, etc. Now you have at least the start of a plan so that you can stop running around in circles wondering what to do first.

3. Straighten up the garage or garden shed, or wherever you keep your gardening tools, hoes, and supplies.

Make a list of supplies you keep on hand that you need more of so you can buy those on your next trip to the garden center. Sharpen tools, inspect hoses, etc. so that when you are ready to use them, they are ready to be used. Do this when the weather isn’t good enough to actually garden, if you can.

4. Start slow, give yourself time to get back in shape, back into rhythm.

Give yourself time to get each task done. Gardening isn’t enjoyable if you work yourself to exhaustion on that first day, or risk injury by over doing it. Start off with easier projects like planting some containers with violas and pansies as soon as you see some for sale. Then you can work up to digging, heavy pruning, etc.

5. Breathe, relax.

We garden for fun, for enjoyment, because we love to garden. It will all get done. If it all seems like too much, reduce the size of your garden, simplify it. Don’t try to keep up with the neighbors. Garden for yourself, plant what you like. You’ll be much happier with the result.

Now I’m personally hoping for a little sunshine and temperatures above freezing this weekend, so I can get started on getting ready for Spring. How about you?