How To – Spring is here Time to prepare the Garden for Planting

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    Temperatures overnight are still too cold in most parts of the country for planting but it is getting time to get outside and do some work after a long winter.

    Personally it seems that this winter has been longer then those in the past with cooler weather and some unexpected snows late into March but unfortunately the weather people are saying we can’t expect a cooler summer that would mean more rain. They are predicting another season of drought for 2013 which means higher bills for water consumption.

    If you are lucky you may have your own well on your property but even if you do the cost of running  it can eat up a lot of electricity.

    What should you do early this spring?

    Everyone has different concerns when preparing their home for spring and summer.  Some people like to spend a lot of time in their pools and others will have projects like decks to build or planting bushes and trees.

    The Spring is the best time to prepare for many of these chores and the earlier you can get outside the better.

    When working outside early in spring you should pace yourself. A long winter of sitting around watching tv means most of us who don’t have a Gym Membership are going to get soar if we try to do too much at once.

    My first order of business outside will be to pick out all of the weeds in my garden.

    Weeds have really got bad in my garden the past few years with the droughts because they need less water and have shorter root systems then vegetables.

    I will pick every one that I can see first and dispose of them. You really shouldn’t plow under any weed that you can pick because many more will propagate. It is almost like you are planting them.

    After I get most of the weeds out of the vegetable garden I will prepare the lawn by using a weed and feed mixture and maybe some lime but maybe not this year.

    Weed and Feed or pre-emergent weed killer in a pelletized product is very easy to apply with a lawn seed spreader.

    I will probably use about 2 large bags for my 1/2 an acre and that should hold me all through the summer then fall application will depend on the condition of the lawn.

    Since I live in a relatively new development there is not a lot of shade here so the main concern in the summer will be if we have enough rain.

    After the garden and lawn have been taken care of I want to try to fix some cracks in my driveway. Because the sun will cause the driveway to expand and close the cracks later in the summer I want to try to get some liquid crack filler in before it gets too warm out.

    I figure I will keep the filler in the house over night so it flows well then try to work it into the crack with a plastic spreader.

    This won’t cure the problem permanently but it will deter any water from running into the crack and undermining any of the soil under the driveway.

    Whats Next?

    This is just the beginning of the season. Temperatures in the day have not reached 70f during the day yet and dealing with plants is not something I want to do right now however I am thinking about getting some planting trays.

    I saw one of our chain stores has a planting tray they are calling a greenhouse. It has 72 openings and peet moss discs that expand when you get them wet.  It also has a cover on it to help keep the plants warm.

    I will probably get one and plant about half of the tray with my early garden vegetables.

    Normally I just plant right into the soil and I purchase peppers and tomatoes at the store for better results.

    I figure if I can get my cucumbers, squash and a couple other plants started early they will transplant and gain me a few weeks of harvesting.

    I think I will save about a third of the tray for planting later in the summer so I can start my fall crop of lettuce and maybe a few special plants…

    Maybe I should get two of these trays now while they are available in the store.. I know its impossible to find these things after July unless you go mail order but even then the prices are higher.

    I hope you guys are having a great early spring.

    But remember don’t try to do it all the first weekend.



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