Photo by Sergey Shmidt on Unsplash
It's that time of the year when nature springs back to life. Flowers pop up in spaces and trees sprout young leaves.
You can now take a long break from shoveling snow off your pavement and lawn. It smells like new hope’s in the air.
Your mind tells you how beautiful it would be to make good use of your backyard this spring.
If you don't plan on cultivating yet, but dream it, you can gain a thing or two. And find practices you can do now that’d help you save later.
They are nothing new under the sun but still work like a charm.
1. Relax, Be Patient
For now, don't make hay while the sun shines.
Wait till the soil is dry before you work on it. It sets a solid foundation for other garden preparations during spring.
While you wait, you can get your hands dirty with doing other things, many of which I'd reveal soon. In my case, I gradually clean things up while I wait to avoid doing all the heavy lifting when it's time.
2. Shape, Sharpen, and Service
Garden tools look in good shape even when they are not. So it's easy not to pay attention.
"As the spring and summer roll around, it's important to give your garden tools some attention," says Barry Troutman.
Clearly, clean garden tools last longer and do a better job of tilling the soil when they aren't rusty. More importantly, you'd prevent the transfer of plant infections into the garden with clean tools.
Grab a hand file or learn how to use one to sharpen hoes, rakes, shovels, and more. Make it a monthly chore if you can.
3. Pull Out Weeds
Spring happens to be the best time to engage in weed control. Common weeds like crabgrass and dandelion become easy to uproot, which happens to be the most effective way to get rid of them.
Honestly, it's the smart choice if you want to make anything out of your soil. You don't want any plant or insect that isn't beneficial, struggling for nutrients with your plants.
But even if you aren't going to at the moment, take it as a free soil enrichment plan. It can save you money on herbicides if you change your mind about tilling the soil later in the year.
Wait now. You have to be certain the soil is dry before you start the process. To make sure of it, roll a ball of earth and see if it crumbles easily. Give it more time if the ball flattens or breaks into small chunks.
4. Take The Leap
Sometimes, you may only have as much space out your backyard for a small garden. And you can't tell if this small earthen area would grow anything.
You can cancel out the stress of building a raised bed without worrying about your poor native soil. Plus, plant roots form better where there’s reduced or no leg traffic on the soil. Don't let the cat play in when you set yours up.
Also, a raised bed is the perfect gift idea to help the elderly grow vegetables without bending over.
You can build a garden box on your own without stress or just buy one online. But you'd save more money when you source for the soil in a planned manner. Figure out how much you need with a soil calculator and where you can get a good deal.
5. Provide a Gift to Nature
Compost is famed as the best gift you can give the soil. It's rough during the winter months, and you'd do a good service by infusing compost or natural fertilizer in your soil.
Again, be sure the soil is ready to be worked on before you proceed. Layer about 1 – 2 inches of compost on the topsoil and work it in with a hand trowel, about 6 inches deep. Also, put a handful into the hole if you're planting seeds.
You can use food scraps, sawdust, and yard materials in your compost system. Don't use meats, dairy products, or your yard will be a smelly mess. Or purchase a compost bin. You should also learn how you can make your compost in the space of a few months.
6. Source Local Seeds
Native plants adapt to the climate and soil condition of your residence. You can source for them in your local seed store and ask for assistance getting the right one for your yard.
The right one should be a plant that would survive on your type of soil and with the amount of sunlight that would be available. Find a day to do your research to find seeds that grow well in your area if you don't have a nearby seed store.
7. Beautify By Attracting Birds
Until this point, you've only got routine tips like pulling weed and cleaning your garden tools. But don't get me wrong, they're all crucial.
You can bring a whole new experience into your yard by adding something different. Something you've always thought about doing but never did. Something you've longed to try.
For one, grooming spices or legumes from seed to maturity means a lot. You can also set up a feeder for feeding hummers to get these pesky little birds frolicking and singing in your yard.
The joy of caring for a life form can wake what's dead in yours.
Spring signifies a fresh start for nature.
You can prep your backyard early with these tips and save money. But they are what they are; a list of preparatory actions to take.
A lot more would have to be done moving forward. And that includes maintaining what you started during spring, such as inviting birds to your yard or taking care of the plants.