Preparing Your Vegetable Garden for Spring: February Tasks
Even though winter’s grip is still hanging on, spring is just around the corner. That means that it’s time to start looking at some garden tasks that can help ensure your success for the upcoming growing season. As February starts to wane, it’s time to look at a few tasks you can undertake to get your garden in shape and ready to grow when the weather warms up.
- Get a soil test. The easiest way to do this is by gathering soil from an inch or two under the surface from a half dozen locations in your garden. Take this in to your local university cooperative extension service, and discover more about your soil than you could have imagined, such as the nutrients needed, soil type, potential yields and similar data.
- Remove any debris from last year. If you left a few plants, spoiled fruit or fallen leaves in your garden after the last frost, it’s time to get this material out of your garden. This debris can be a habitat for harmful pests and diseases that can decimate your garden during the growing season if they’re allowed to survive the cold.
- Add any necessary soil amendments to your soil, such as calcium, nitrogen and potassium. Why now? Some nutrients need a little time to mellow and spread through the soil, so adding them now gives them a chance to settle in without potentially burning your tender seedlings later in the season when it’s time to start planting.
- Prepare any new ground with mulch. If you’re working new ground that hasn’t been used for no-till in recent history, this is a great time to start preparing it for your spring no-till garden. Using cardboard, newspaper or similar mulch, lay it down in a layer over the ground, making
sure to overlap any edges to get complete coverage.
- If soil born pests were a menace last season consider a pre-season tilling session to naturally lower their numbers this season. Some insect pests can overseason as larvae or eggs in the soil at the base of your plants, so taking the time to till the soil while your area can still reaching cold or freezing temperatures at night can kill these pests off and reduce their numbers in your garden during the growing season.
- Take care of any greenhouse repairs. If you’ve set up a greenhouse, cold frames or similar season-extending structure, it’s a good time to check whether any repairs are needed. This leaves you with plenty of time to get necessary materials ordered in and take care of problems at your leisure.
- Start your early-season seedlings. Now is a great time to start planting your cole crops, such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, as well as spinach, cold-hardy peas and tender herbs such as dill and cilantro. If you’re further south, you can start planting warmer-season plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and woody herbs such as rosemary and sage.
By taking a little time now to prepare your garden, while it’s quiet and still, you’ll be in that much better shape to get your garden underway when the weather warms up. At Redbud Soil Company, we want to help you have a successful gardening season by providing you with the right organic garden supplies
to make your garden thrive. Please contact us today to find out more about our products and ensure gardening success this year!