Here are some tricks to take advantage of sunny windowsills:
- Start Seeds Indoors: By the time the soil is warm enough to plant seeds outdoors, you’ve already missed some growing time. By starting seed flats in a sunny window, you can have seedlings ready to transplant by the time the weather warms up.
- Indoor Containers: Herbs and salad greens are easy to grow indoors in the winter, and you can simply snip off leaves as you need them. Indoor hydroponic systems go a step further to provide a sophisticated growing system for year-round vegetable harvests.
If you’re dead-set on gardening year-round, and you live in areas with freezing winters, you’ll have to create an artificially heated environment for tender plants. A greenhouse is a great way to extend the gardening season, with several choices:
- Unheated Greenhouse: Made of insulating glass or plastic, unheated greenhouses function like a large cold frame, giving only frost protection and few weeks’ head start.
- Cool Greenhouse: Are minimally heated to keep temperatures above 40° F, allowing you to grow cool-season vegetables all winter long and to get a couple months’ head start on warm-season vegetables.
- Warm Greenhouse: Hothouses keep temperatures above 50° F, allowing ambitious gardeners to grow summer veggies and herbs even in the dead of winter.
These tips from a professional landscaper will help get your garden ready for spring.
1. Remove Weeds
One of the easiest ways to do it is through hand weeding, which is most effective in dealing with broadleaf weeds. Make sure to pull weeds out while young to prevent them from spreading and thriving in your lawn.
In addition, it is important to catch the perennial weeds, such as dandelions, which can develop hard-to-pull, mature taproots. To remove them, yank the whole plant to prevent any roots from remaining underground. Otherwise, they’ll grow into new plants that you need to remove again.
TIP: Weed when the soil is moist! Once done weeding, reseed the spot or new weeds will take over.
2. ‘Re-Energize’ the Soil
Preparing the soil before spring is another way to get ready for the season.
Soil is already workable once the winter frost has lifted. It is also the perfect time to prepare the garden beds.
When soil is compacted, you need to loosen it again by turning or tilling it. Use a sharp spade or tiller to work your soil to a depth up to 14 inches.
Leaves or mulch that have composted will be mixed in soil in the process. For the fresh ones, you should remove them first.
Reenergize the soil by making adjustments and adding compost. First, you can do a soil test to check the nutrient and pH levels. Knowing these things, you’ll be able to figure out what to add or adjust.
● If you have clay-based or poor soil, add compost to improve its texture, moisture retention and nutrient content. Afterward, rake the soil evenly before watering slightly to help it settle.
● If the soil is very poor, another option is to add a raised garden bed.