Mar 15, 2023 DIY Home

11 Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Spring

As the chill of winter begins to fade, it’s time to start daydreaming about the blooming flowers and vibrant greenery of spring. But before you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your garden, there’s some work to be done!

Spring is the perfect time to prepare your garden for the coming season, and with a little bit of planning and effort, you can ensure that your yard is the envy of the neighborhood. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a newbie looking to flex your green thumb, we’ve got some helpful tips and tricks to help you get your garden ready for spring. So put on your gardening gloves and get ready to dig in!


Remove Debris

11 Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Spring

During the colder months, natural debris of all kinds has probably accumulated all over your yard — like dead leaves, twigs and dead plants. Take an afternoon to remove all debris from your yard, which will let water and sun reach your soil and plants. Set aside all of this material to use as kindling in your next bonfire — or for your composting bin (more on that later). It’s amazing how much cleaner your yard will look after this simple task!


Prune Trees + Shrubs

Continue the cleanup by pruning any trees and shrubs that have not produced any leaves yet. This will help promote healthy growth and improve their overall appearance. Remove any dead leaves or branches hanging off dormant perennials, so the plant can focus its energy and resources on growing new flowers and leaves this season.


Pull Out Weeds

11 Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Spring

As the weather starts to warm up, weeds will begin to pop up in your garden beds and even in your grass — and they can quickly take over if left unchecked. It’s important to tackle weeds aggressively, as they can compete with your plants for nutrients and water, and even cause damage to your yard’s ecosystem. The best way to remove weeds from your yard will depend on the type of weed you’re dealing with, as well as the size of the infestation. For small areas, hand-pulling or digging can be effective, while larger areas may require chemical or organic weed killers. It’s also important to be thorough when removing weeds, as leaving even a small section of root can result in regrowth.


Plan Out Your Garden + Purchase Seeds

Each spring offers the opportunity to start new again — and that includes in your garden! You can regrow the things that worked well last year or try something completely new. Take some time to decide what you want to grow this year, including fruits, vegetables and herbs to other plants throughout your yard, both perennials and annuals. And then purchase seeds to sow when the time comes. Use this list of plants native to Nebraska, all of which will grow well in our area — not to mention, attract local insects and pollinators!


Start Seeds Indoors

11 Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Spring

Not so fast! The weather is still a bit too harsh for some plants to survive. To get ahead of the schedule, you can start seeds indoors before the last frost, which is typically in mid-April in Nebraska. Then, once the temperature of the soil has warmed up to about 70 degrees, you can transfer them to their outdoor environment. Use this guide from Lanoha Nurseries for more information about starting seeds indoors, including when to plant specific types of seeds. 


Divide Perennials

Early spring is an excellent time to divide some of your later-blooming perennials, especially if they have grown too large or are exhibiting signs of struggle, like flopping or drying out. Dividing keeps plants healthy and even encourages them to create more blooms. Plus, it helps you make the most of the plants in your garden — so you don’t have to go out and buy new ones this season. As a good rule of thumb, it’s best to divide spring bloomers in the fall, fall bloomers in the spring, and summer bloomers in either fall or spring. Click here for more information about dividing perennials, including a step-by-step guide on how to do it.


Prepare Your Soil

11 Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Spring

The health of your garden largely depends on the quality of your soul. That’s why it’s important to take some time to properly prepare your soil by loosening it with a tiller or sharp spade. This is also a good time to add any necessary amendments, including fertilizer, compost or other nutrients to promote a healthy environment. Not sure what the state of your soil is? You can test your soil using a soil test kit (available at any home improvement store) to determine its pH level and nutrient content.


Add a Layer of Mulch

Once you’ve cleared out your garden beds from debris and other natural materials, make them shine even more by adding a layer of fresh mulch. This will also help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Mulch adds depth and contrast in your yard, as it comes in a variety of shades, from reddish brown to dark black.


Get Your Lawn Mower Ready

11 Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Spring

Before you cut your lawn for the first time this year, make sure your lawn mower is ready to go! After all, there’s nothing worse than discovering an issue when the foot-long grass desperately needs a haircut. At the start of each spring, it’s important to go through this lawn mower maintenance checklist, which includes sharpening the blade, filling it with fresh fuel, and more.


Clean Out the Shed

Take an afternoon to clean out and organize your shed, taking inventory of your tools and gardening supplies so you can hit the ground running! Before you put them back in, clean off and sharpen all the tools you plan to keep, so they are ready to be used when you need them.


Start Composting

11 Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Spring

If you want to add nutrient-rich compost into your garden next spring, start the composting process this year! This is also a great way to reduce food and yard waste, as organic materials are one of the largest contributors of methane gas in the country. Check out this detailed guide to composting to get started. And if you’d rather just drop off your compost for someone else to deal with, Hillside Solutions has several drop-off locations around Omaha where you can take your compostable waste (like food, paper towels, bio-plastics and more) and have them turned into nutrient-dense soil!


Happy Spring!

Now, you can complete the most important task: appreciating all your hard work!

Mar 15, 2023 DIY Home
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