Spring is considered the king among all the seasons for its moderate and soothing weather. It usually lasts only from mid-February to first week of April.
While we have a lot of festivities like Vasant Panchami and Holi, weaved around this beautiful season, it is also thoroughly enjoyed by people who love nature. Everything looks its best during spring, especially your little garden.
Spring season will be knocking your door very soon, therefore now is the ideal time to get your seeds sowed already. Only then you’ll be able to witness your garden in a full bloom in a couple of months.
So, we are here to help you plan everything before you go for your planting spree. After some greys and blues, our eyes definitely need colours around them and what better place than your little garden to incorporate all those colours.
We understand that the temptation of working in your garden when the sun shines and the breeze feels little warmer than December month, but you need to restraint from directly jumping in to the action without preparing the soil, the compost, your tools, the soil beds and of course getting your seeds.
Let’s take a look at all the preparations you need to do before spring arrives.
• Getting the soil ready – First of all, soil really plays a very important role in the growth of the plants, so getting it perfectly ready should be in top of your priority list.
The winters usually contracts the soil and makes it too moist which means the seed we will sow won’t get any of the nutrition if the soil isn’t prepared well. Just have a look at the soil and ask yourself – Does this feel right enough to sow the seeds right now? You’ll know the answer.
The easiest way to find it out is to take handful of your soil and try to make a ball of it using your hand. If it gets molded through your hand the soil is still moist to sow your seeds. The best texture is when your soil feels crumbly in your hands. Not too dry, not too moist.
• Make your own compost at home – Compost adds value to your soil and eventually to your plant. Do not miss out on this step because adding compost will make miraculous difference in your spring blooms.
To start with dig a pit or find a deep bucket. Add your kitchen waste like peels of vegetables and fruits, egg shells, even the dried leaves from your garden. Cover it with a lid and put it in a warm place. Keep adding your everyday waste to this mixture. Try adding things which decay easily like paper pieces etc.
When you feel your soil is ready, add ½ liters of thick curd into that mixture and overnight it will become exactly the nutrition your soil and saplings need.
Tip – Start preparing your compost 10, 12 days prior to your sowing day.
• Remove weeds and other unwanted elements – You definitely do not want weeds to suck up the nutrition you give to your plants. Therefore it is an important step to pull out all the weeds and even fallen leaves from the garden. But make sure the soil isn’t too moist when you do it because it might destroy your soil structure.
Wait until the soil dries up and then remove all the grass and weeds. You may also find out little saplings waiting to volunteer in the coming spring season. Removing weeds also covers up the process of tilling and makes your soil more aerated and crumbling before the seeds are sowed.
• Add compost to the soil – Once your soil comes in perfect texture and consistency, it is time to add your compost to it. It will bring back all the nutrients to the soil which got erased over the change of seasons. It will enhance the structure of your soil which results in a better and friendly atmosphere for your essential microbes for your plants.
You don’t want to miss a chance to replenish the soil with compost at the beginning of every growing season. Add your compost in a layer of 1-2 inches on top of the soil and then mix it well with the soil so that it goes to a depth of about 6 inches before planting.
• Time to plant your seeds – Before getting into the real and most fun action of this whole spring-gardening-gig, you can give your seeds a booster start by growing their transplants indoors first.
For indoor transplants, you will only need two things – seed starting trays and a decent quality potting soil. Plant your seeds in the starting trays. Place the seeds in a warm room with lots of light. Keep the soil moist as the seedlings grow. Also make sure to place the trays outside for rapid growth throughout the day and bring them in at night.
• Move the saplings to the soil bed – Once your transplants are good to go, move them to the soil bed you prepared with compost and crumbling soil. If you are planting flowers like daisies, marigold or pansies make sure you handle them with great care because these flowers are pretty delicate.
Some perennials plants tend to crowd each other out, causing their performance to deteriorate year over year. Therefore it is better to divide plants like Daylilies, Shasta Daisies, Pansies and many others in early spring. Just make sure to plant them with proper gap. You can even plant them in separate and spacious planters to avoid over-crowding.
• Hunt down all the pests and animals – Winters really give little animals and insects to a reason to nest up around our plants. You can even find birds, puppy etc finding shelter in cozy and quiet places like that.
But they are not suitable if you want your garden in a full bloom during spring season. The delicate plants and saplings get ruined very easily, so it is very important to protect them from every invader in your garden.
Following all these steps and keeping the little tips in mind you will witness a pleasing, colourful and vibrant garden. Do not forget to pat your back and treat yourself with a good cup of coffee when you see the first bloom of the season. Remember, you will have to be patient and consistent in gardening this season.
– By Avantika Tiwari