Winter doesn’t last forever and soon we can all look forward to warm weather again. That Groundhog Day prediction may see an earlier than expected warm up, which means spring garden planning should be well under way.
Get some tips on planning for your spring garden so you are ready to shoot out of the gates on the first warm day.
Groundhog Day for Gardeners
Although groundhogs in the garden are seldom welcome, Punxsutawney Phil is a ground hog with a mission. If he doesn’t see his shadow, that’s a perfect Groundhog Day for gardeners. That portends an early spring, which means we have to get cracking on garden prep. There are tasks to get your garden ready for spring that you can do in fall and even in winter. That way, when the first sunny, warm days arrive, you’re out ahead of many gardeners.
That chubby rodent is the key to a happy Groundhog Day prediction. Phil and his ancestors have been predicting spring’s arrival for over 120 years and do so with much pomp and circumstance. The whole affair is eagerly watched by all, as we try to struggle out of the grip of winter and its cold and forbidding weather. The animal’s caretakers wake him at dawn to see if he casts a shadow.
While, historically, the animal is not very accurate with his predictions, it is still one of those traditions that is eagerly anticipated by many. The practice came about from German migrants, whose lore saw a badger, rather than a ground hog, predicting the weather.
How to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring
If you are like me, you may tend to procrastinate on chores and find yourself scrambling to finish them. In order to enjoy a relaxed spring pace, a little preemptive prepping can keep you organized and ahead of the game.
I find a list is helpful, someplace I can cross off tasks and feel smugly accomplished. Every garden is different, but cleaning up winter debris can be done at any time. Shopping for bulbs, seeds and plants is a happy way to send your mind to a warmer time, and winter is the best time to do it. You can also start collecting rainwater to minimize water bills in the upcoming season.
Here are the top 10 tasks for spring garden planning:
- Weed as you can
- Prune out dead and damaged plant material
- Start long season plants in flats indoors
- Make cold frames or get cloches for early season planting
- Plan the veggie garden and don’t forget to rotate crops
- Cut back ornamental grasses and perennials
- Till soil and amend as needed
With a little effort and a chore list, you can have a spring ready garden just in time so you can focus on planting and enjoying the fruits of your labors.