Start Planning Your Spring Garden Now! 3 Questions To Ask Yourself
With snow on the ground and a cold forecast for the foreseeable future, it may seem like spring is light-years away, but if you want to have a stunning garden in May there are steps you need to take now. Believe it or not, your outdoor plants are already preparing to sprout come warmer weather, and if you want to help your garden get a jump start there are a few steps you’ll need to take to prepare for spring planting. Here are some critical questions to ask yourself while the snow is still falling.
3 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Spring Garden
There’s something about late winter that makes us itchy for warm spring weather. At this point in the season, the steps you need to take for your spring garden are primarily indoor tasks that require lots of assessing and planning. We love this stage of any landscaping project– this is where you get to figure out what works, dream up your garden plans and start ordering seeds and supplies.
1. How Did My Garden Do Last Year?
This is the assessment phase of planning. You have to not only ask yourself these assessment questions, but you have to be honest with yourself about what worked in your garden last year and what didn’t (and why!). Ask yourself:
What Grew Well (And Why?)
This question is not only to celebrate your garden successes but also to really assess why certain plants grew well: Were they in the best sun? Did they get more fertilizer? Were they closer to a water source? Are they better suited for your zone so they adapted to the environment better? Asking yourself these questions will help you in the rest of your planning stages.
What Didn’t Grow Well (And Why?)
This is a hard question to ask yourself, but it might be the question that makes your garden flourish come spring. Did your tomatoes do poorly because they didn’t get enough sun? Were you experimenting with plants that aren’t from your grow zone and they didn’t do well in your area? Did you forget to turn on your sprinklers? Did you check your soil and make the necessary adjustments? Did that sycamore end up shading more of your garden this year because it grew 2 feet? Regardless of what went wrong, do your best to assess why and then avoid those same mistakes this year.
2. What Do I Want My Garden To Look Like This Year?
This is the fun part! Planning what changes you want to make and what you want to add to your garden is where the excitement really starts to hit! You’ll want to take these tips into consideration as you plan for your garden:
- Consider your assessment from the previous step—what grew well and what didn’t?
- Is there anything you need to remove from your garden—either for aesthetics or because it’s making it difficult for other plants to grow?
- Is there a plant or look you’d like to incorporate into your garden this spring? What amount of light does that new plant require? Do you have space, and if not how will you make space for it?
- Are there any structural additions you’d like to make? A greenhouse? Maybe some raised garden boxes? Pavers through your flower beds?
3. What Do I Need To Get Before The Snow Melts?
Time to take all your assessing and planning and start gathering your materials. It may seem early to start buying seeds or other supplies, but in our experience, the shelves and supplies you need may be picked over—giving you fewer options and more stress. It’s easier to buy early and hang onto the seeds and supplies so you get exactly what you want. Here are some supplies you need to consider buying early:
- Seed catalogs/seeds from local growers. We recommend buying local when it comes to seeds, they are likely better adapted to your specific growing region.
- Supplies and tools. Is your tool shed well stocked and maintained for the spring planting season? Do any of your tools need professional maintenance? Do any of your supplies need to be replaced? Start thinking critically about what you’ll need to start your garden and if you have all the right tools and machinery.
- Materials for new structures. If you are adding pavers, measure and purchase the style you want early. Thinking about an herb garden box near your kitchen window? Look into the necessary materials now and purchase them for the spring. Nothing flies off the shelves of your local hardware store like spring garden supplies, especially in the late winter/early spring. Get a head start so you can have the exact supplies you need for any new garden structures in your yard.
Our Favorite Spring Garden Planning Tips:
Visit Your Local Garden Center
As the weather warms garden centers will be overrun with eager spring gardeners. Garden center employees refer to the warming months of March-June as the “100 days of hell” because of the overcrowding of their stores. If you want personalized ideas and one on one support, visit early spring or even late winter. Make sure to check the store hours though, many local garden centers have reduced hours in the winter.
Consider Your Garden From The Inside Out
Being stuck indoors is a great time to really look at your landscape from the inside out. Do you like what you see while washing dishes at your kitchen window? Or could you add a lavender plant in your kitchen garden box and enjoy the views and aroma of the plants come spring? Do you get a good view of your Forsythia in the spring from your living room window or is it blocked by an unruly juniper shrub that could be easily removed? Take your months indoors to examine your views of your garden and decide what you want to see from inside your home and make adjustments to your garden accordingly.
Plant Your Cold Weather Tolerant Flowers
We love tulips and crocus as much as the next gardener, but if you want more variety and color earlier in the season, consider nemesia or lobelia. You can also consider other plants that don’t mind cold weather. If you aren’t sure if your plants will survive the colder nights and evenings of early spring, plant them in movable planters and bring them indoors on colder nights to keep them alive.
Big Rock Landscaping: Your Local Experts At Spring Garden Landscaping
No one knows better than our team how crucial winter assessment and planning are for a stunning spring garden. We specialize in creating spaces that look beautiful year-round, and we love the thrill of seeing our planning and expertise literally come to life each spring. Let us use our expertise and passion for beautiful landscapes to make your spring garden dreams come true! Contact us now to get started on your spring garden planning!