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If you have created your own raised beds, during the winter months they can certainly take a beating and can shift, creating gaps and structural damage. Repair any loose or split boards, replace any nails or screws to make sure they will be strong enough to house your plants and soil.
If you are like me, you most likely haven’t picked up or used any of your trusty gardening equipment since last year. Do yourself a favour and inspect all of your shears, blades and tool heads for rust. We want to make sure each tool is sharp and ready for the Spring clean up. To reclaim wooden handled tools from splits and cracks, rub them down with boiled linseed oil to help moisturize the handles. Soaking rusty tool heads in a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar then scraping the rust with steel wool is a great way to bring those tools back to life.
During the winter months as plants lay dormant and the gardens are bare, one thing that never stopped working was your compost. Having your own compost is both a great asset to the environment and is like a secret weapon for your garden. By adding in finished compost to your soils it gives it that extra little nutrient boost to help those seedlings get off to a healthy start.
If your compost isn’t quite large enough to cover all of your beds be sure to check out our many soil options and of course our top selling Mushroom Compost, a nutrient rich blend that we think is second to none. If you had planted a winter cover crop, as soon as the ground thaws is the time to till it into the soil in preparation for planting.
Each year part of the excitement is getting to create a new layout or garden map. The ideas you have been drawing up in your head, or even on paper can now begin to take form. Once the ground thaws you can begin to divide and transplant your perennials. This gives you the opportunity to grow new areas and change the landscape of your garden.
Before it gets too warm it is a great idea to uproot any spring weeds. Timing is everything and ensuring you attack these invasive visitors before they have a chance to call your garden home is key. There are multiple benefits to mulching your garden in early Spring but creating that protective layer on the potentially chilled soil from the cold season can start the warming process and get you planting earlier. Mulch is also helpful in reducing the number of invasive weeds by blocking the sun from reaching the soil in those areas while visually it is also a nice touch to any garden. What can’t mulch do!
As you find yourself looking out the window at the frozen ground in late winter and wonder when you will be able to get those hands dirty again, why not start now! One of the most proactive and best ways to ensure healthy seedlings is to begin the process indoors by seed starting. Once again with gardening, timing is everything so be sure plan ahead and check the growing cycle of each product. Seed starting is one of the trickiest but most beautiful parts of the process, and there is so many things to take in to consideration we will cover it in our very next post.
Not all seeds need to be started indoors and once that thaw sets in and your soil becomes workable you can begin direct sow any spring vegetables. Beets, peas, asparagus, lettuce & cabbage are all vegetables that thrive in the cooler soils and are eager to break ground.
You want to make sure when looking to prune and clean up some of your plants branches that you are patient and wait until new growth has begun to show itself. You don’t want to clip a branch that may still just be hibernating and hasn’t quite woken from the winter yet. However you will want to clean up the obvious dead branches from shrubs, trees and foliage to help get these trees back to life sooner than later. Certain plants will need to flower before you can determine which parts need removing.
Now that most of the house keeping has been done and you have got a few of your seeds and seedlings into the ground, we have to remember that the weather in early Spring can be unpredictable and a frost or freeze can come out of nowhere. Creating a temporary protective barrier for the first few weeks is a great way to ensure these little seedlings have a fighting chance against the elements.
This is just a short list of a few essential jobs to help you get started that can really benefit your garden for the growing season. We can’t wait to get back out there and get our hands dirty.
5 Tips for Growing Seeds Indoors: Get Ready for the Gardening Season!
Spring is just around the corner and it's time to start preparing for the upcoming gardening season. One of the best ways to get a jump start on your garden is by growing seeds indoors. Here are five tips to help you succeed in growing strong and healthy seedlings.
Choose the Right Containers: Use containers that are specifically designed for seed starting, such as biodegradable pots or trays with cells. This will allow you to easily transplant the seedlings into your garden without disturbing their roots.
Select the Right Soil: Use a high-quality seed starting mix that is free of pathogens and provides the right balance of nutrients, moisture, and aeration. If possible, don't use garden soil to start seeds indoors; it generally doesn't drain well and may contain plant disease spores.
Provide Adequate Light: Seeds need light to germinate and grow, so place them near a sunny window or use grow lights if necessary. Try to aim for at least 12-16 hours of light per day.
Keep the Environment Humid: Seedlings need high humidity to prevent them from drying out, especially during the first few weeks of growth. You can use a humidity dome or place a clear plastic bag over the seed trays to maintain a humid environment.
Water Consistently: Seedlings need consistent moisture to prevent them from drying out or developing root rot. Water them from the bottom to prevent water from splashing onto the delicate leaves. Aim to keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged.
Hopefully by following these tips, you'll be well on your way to growing healthy and robust seedlings that will thrive in your garden. Happy gardening!