Gardening – Get Ready For Spring!

Preparing For The Spring Gardening Rush:

With the early spring flowers, like snowdrops and daffodils starting to poke through the ground; then it is the first signs that the growing season is near! However don’t be fooled by the ‘false spring’ as here in the UK at least – the winter still has a couple of months to go.

Let’s not be to negative though – I for one am looking forward to getting my hands dirty again; and as the days start to draw out, my mind is more and more inclined towards just what my plans are for this growing season. There are however a few things to get right, before a spade goes into the ground, or a seed is planted – here is my ‘To Do’ list to begin this growing season.

Get The Tools Cleaned!

Ok, this should have been done before you stacked them away for the winter – you did do that right ! Hmm, I thought as much 🙂 If you’re anything like myself, you did intend to stack them away cleaned and oiled for the winter – but something got in the way! Now they are dirty and rusting in a pile in the corner of the shed somewhere, shame on you !!

Not the end of the world though. Now is the time to scrape off any hard baked mud; pick them up and give the metal parts a good brush down with a stiff brush, or even a wire brush. The give them a liberal spray with WD40 or equivalent release oil; finally wiping them down with an oily rag. Secateurs, garden sheers, scythes, spades, rakes and many other metal tools all suffer from bad maintenance – especially sheers. A simple spray with oil every once and a while will add years to their productive life.

Prepare the garden Bed:

container gardening
What a mess! A selection of my wife’s planters to clear out.

Whether you grow in a raised bed garden, or a traditional garden; both have to be cleared of old cuttings and other rubbish that gathers (or has not been collected!) over the winter. Now is a good time to turn over the soil if it is not too wet – or still frozen solid. This means that the frost yet to come, will kill off a lot of the over-wintering bugs and viruses. If you intend to grow in a raised bed this year – and I would recommend it – then now is the time to clear a spot and get thinking about it’s construction. If you grow outside in containers, then this same instruction applies to container gardeners as well.

Get Composting!

Make sure that you have your composting area sorted out, perhaps removing the usable compost for use in the veggie patch, and making sure the site is all ready for your new grass-cuttings and other compost materials.

Sort out Your Seed Trays:

Make sure you have enough seed trays or seedling planters to get started; there is nothing more frustrating than to find you do not have enough little pots for your prize veggie plants! Make sure if you are using old ones that they are thoroughly cleaned before use though – you do not want any disease from the previous year, affecting your new plants. For seedlings, try using old egg cartons to get them started. They make excellent starters and are bio-degradable if you use the cardboard cartons.

It may be a bit early just now for the UK, but in many places in the US you can start these in February, ready to plant outdoors in April or May.

Springtime is perhaps the most exciting time of the year for the gardener – maybe with the exception of harvest-time, when the fruits of all your hard work finally pays off. Don’t be fooled by a sudden mild season at the beginning though, as this can result in lost plants and labour for nothing. As usual with gardening – patience brings it’s own rewards!


Best Selling author of several no-dig gardening books, James has over 40 years of gardening knowledge and experience to share with like-minded gardening enthusiasts.

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