10 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR SPRING PLANTING
By Kevin Feinstein
There are many things that can be done during the winter season to prepare for spring planting. Winter is the time to "get your ducks in a row."
1. Order seeds and plants. If you don't already have all the seeds or plants you will need, now is the time to secure them. Don't wait until it's time to plant, they might be out of stock or hard to find. Many things such as potatoes or sweet potato cuttings, you can pre-order.
2. Have soil amendments such as fertilizers already purchased and ready to use .
3. Know where your mulch or compost source will come from. This is a good time of year to talk to someone at your local mulch yard, for example, as they are not very busy. Ask them how they make their compost, what's in it, etc., if you don't already know.
4. Work on structures or hardscapes. Build a chicken coop? Raised beds? Trellises? Now is a good time to do it - before spring.
5. Write down your goals for this spring's planting. You probably won't be able to plant everything you want, so think about which plants are most important to you.
6. Prune fruit trees and vines. Most fruit trees, especially stone fruits (peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, etc.) and apple fruits (apples, pears, quinces) need to be pruned in the winter/dormant season for good health. Grapes and kiwi vines are the same.
7. Get learning books. When the weather warms up and you get your experiential learning, you may not have time to read about gardening and growing, so use your time now for that.
8. Plant a cover crop. If your soil is bare due to winter kill or lack of planning in the fall, consider planting a cold-hardy cover crop like vetch, clover or rye.
9. Create a plan for your planting. Make a map of your planting beds and what you intend to plant in them. Have this done by an expert such as our designers at Food Forest Abundance if you need it.
10. Tool shed registration. Do you have the tools you need for this year's growing season? If not, secure them now before they sell out. This is also a great time to clean and sharpen your tools.