When all you want to do is hibernate inside, remember that spring is just around the corner. Believe it or not, now is the time to plan for next year’s garden, so you’re ready to hit the dirt after the last frost. Here are some ways to achieve the garden of your dreams this spring – because the only way to get the most out of your garden is to hatch a plan!
Reflect on last year’s garden.
Gardening shouldn’t feel like trial and error. Gardening is a science, so it’s best to approach it logically. Think back to last year’s garden. What worked? What didn’t work? What were your major gardening headaches? Make a list of things to remember this year – seed varieties that failed or performed poorly, areas of the garden that need more weed control, or other reasons your garden wasn’t as productive as it could have been. This is the only way to avoid making the same mistakes again!
January is the perfect time to step back and consider what to do differently when spring rolls around again. Grab a notebook and a pen, curl up by the fire, and take notes about how you might approach this year’s garden differently.
Map it out.
Organization is the gardener’s friend. Give yourself a full picture of what you want your garden to be like by crafting a diagram. What will your garden look like from a bird’s eye view? Where will you plant the tomatoes and where will the pumpkins go? Where will you plant the flowers such as marigolds that deter pests?
Mapping out your garden can save you a lot of time and headache down the road. It can show you how many of each plant you’ll need, how much space you have, and it will help you orchestrate a full, harmonious garden.
There are some fabulous online tools for garden planning. Check out this free kitchen garden planner by Gardener’s Supply Company here. If you want to be able to add landscape elements to your garden plan (such as a pool, firepit, or patio set, then you might want to go with the online garden planning tool over at Smart Gardener.)
Need some inspiration? Country Livinghas lovely ideas on how to design your garden and landscaping elements. They help you choose the perfect variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers to make your property look and perform its best. We’re also drooling over this beautiful potager garden planby Jon Carloftis!
Don’t forget to plan your hardscaping!
Come spring, you’re going to be spending tons of time outside in the garden. But where are you going to relax when it’s time to take a lemonade break? Winter is a wonderful time to ensure that your patio furniture is in good shape. Now is the time to re-upholster, to clean, to repair, and even to design your dream patio area. Have you always been dreaming of a butterfly garden by the front porch? Dreaming of installing a mini patio by the garden? Now is the time craft those plans.
Prune, Plant, and Prepare!
January is the time for planning, but it’s also the time to prepare everything for a beautiful spring. Prune rose bushes now while they’re dormant. Prune fruit trees on a dry day. Cut perennials so they can grow back in full.
Start thinking about preparing the garden now, too. Now is the time to cover the garden soil with compost, mix it around with a garden fork, and ensure that you have everything you need for springtime.
Make sure all your gardening tools and equipment are repaired and ready to go!
You don’t want to be rearing to go in the springtime to find that your tools are unusable and in need of repair. This month, go through your garden shed and make sure that everything is looking neat, clean, and ready to go.
Don’t forget – you’ll need garden gloves! Check the condition of last year’s gloves, and don’t be dismayed if they’re worse for wear. Here at Stockslagers, we always have high-quality garden gloves so you can dig, weed, mulch, and hoe without putting undue stress on your hands!
Did you know that your house plants can be picky about what kind of water you give them? If your tap water had added chemicals, then you’ll want to collect rainwater. Tap water often has chlorine and fluoride that can harm a plant’s roots and leaves. Instead, grab yourself a rain barrel and collect water this month. Rain water is perfect for watering the garden and houseplants, and it helps conserve water, too!
Make sure you have an action-plan in place for the harvest.
Some years we are blessed with such a bountiful harvest that we don’t know what to do with all that delicious food. This January, figure out what you’re going to do if you end up with too much garden produce. Purchase all your accoutrements for canning. Make space in the deep freezer or cellar. Have a plan in place so you don’t waste food.
The gray days of January are the perfect time to prepare for your springtime garden. It will get you excited for warmer days ahead, and it will also prepare you for planting your best, healthiest garden yet. Stop into Stockslagers if you have any questions about this spring’s garden. Our gardening experts are always on hand to assist you with life’s toughest gardening questions.