Before You Plant One Seed

It’s spring! Can we start the garden yet? There are plenty of things you can do in the garden before planting a single seed, and this year’s light snowfall means you can get started even earlier. 

1.) The first thing to do in the spring garden is take a look at the mess that winter left behind. I don’t care how meticulously we cleaned up before the first snow, weird things show up when the last of the snow melts. Now is the time to remove the trash, broken branches, knocked over fences and other things that mysteriously happened right before your eyes all winter. Leave the mulch in place for now, and replace any that has blown away or been moved due to winter cleanout. It’s not quite time to warm that soil by removing the mulch. 

2.) Get out your garden notebook ( you have one, right?) and decide what you have planted, and what needs to be purchased. If you are like me, you have been making long lists all winter. Some of the mail order plants and seeds may not last long, so don’t delay. 

3.) Plan another garden bed, or expansion. You can admit what every gardener already knows: a gardener’s dream garden is never finished. Maybe you could add a little spot for the butterflies and bees this year. Or how about planting some berries? Now is the time to get things ordered and laid out on paper. 

4.) Create a garden calendar. It’s a waste of good garden soil if you leave the ground bare after harvest. It’s a great way to get the most out of your garden space, and keeps you focused on what you can grow and will use, instead of impulse buying. A simple yearly calendar, with the weeks marked off and labeled, can remind you what has to be planted and what you already planted. Organization seems like overkill, but you save money and aggravation if you take a few minutes to get yourself and supplies ready. 


It’s not as glamorous as planting up trays of seeds all afternoon, but pre-garden season is even more important than garden season, and now is the time to get started.