Preparing your garden for Spring!


Preparing Your Garden for Spring, by Laura Maher

Know Your Zone
First recommendation is to know the zone you’re located in.  The growing zones, also known as planting zones, are regions of climate which can reliably grow certain crops depending on climate conditions. Growing zones help gardeners know what flowers, plants, or vegetables will thrive in a specific region. North Carolina growing zones range from 5b to 8b.

Clean Your Garden Beds
During fall and winter, it's likely your garden beds filled up with fallen leaves, debris, and weeds. Do a spring cleaning of the area, removing anything in the way; leaves, twigs, branches, or other debris that has accumulated over the winter to allow new growth to emerge unimpeded.

Prune Plants
Many trees, shrubs, and perennials can use a good pruning this time of year to encourage healthy growth. It’s much easier for you to see the branch structure well and you can shape the plant before the buds break dormancy and the plant starts investing energy in its branches. Pruning can be done to manage plant size, encourage flowering and fruiting, improve bark color, and remove diseased, damaged, or rubbing branches.  

Prepare Your Soil
In winter, soil tends to become compacted, so the first thing you want to do is loosen it up by tilling or turning it.  Work the soil to a depth of 12-14 inches. Test the pH by using a soil test kit to determine the pH level of your soil and make any necessary adjustments to ensure optimal conditions for your plants.

Lay Down Mulch
Apply a layer of mulch around plants to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Mulch can be applied during various times throughout the year, but just before spring is a great time to do so. When choosing mulch for your garden, look for ground mulch as it is better nutrient wise and will break down nicely.

Plant Seeds and Bulbs
Every seed has different germination requirements. Some need to be started indoors while others will need to be direct seeded. If you have a lot of planning to do, make yourself a calendar that highlights what needs to be started or when it needs to be planted.

Inspect Systems & Tools

Check the irrigation systems for any damage or leaks and make any necessary repairs before the growing season begins. Also, check your tools to see if there is anything that needs cleaning or replacing.