One of the blessings of living in an area with four seasons is the rejuvenation felt after a long winter devoid of outside chores. As I put those planters away in the fall, clean the last of the leaves and grass off the mowers, and prep the snow removal equipment, I’m ready for the break cold weather affords.
Yet it seems once we get through the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the new year rolls around, I get that yen to garden much sooner than one would expect. Perhaps it’s the flurry of seed catalogs in the mailbox or simply wintertime boredom.
How I Welcome Spring
Whatever the reason, the anticipation of a new growing season fills the air, and I find myself longing for the day when the snow melts and grass once again turns green. So how do I welcome spring to my garden? Here’s my perspective on the upcoming growing season:
- Plan, plan, plan – From lists of garden veggies I want to grow to landscaping projects I want to accomplish, planning is my cornerstone for getting excited about spring.
- Start early – Yard cleanup is a tedious, yet necessary chore. Whenever we have a late winter or early spring thaw, I pick up fallen branches, twigs and litter off the lawn. It gets me outdoors and helps reserve those first few welcoming warm days of spring for more enjoyable tasks.
- Start seedlings – To me, nothing signals the onset of spring more than witnessing tiny leaves popping from the soil in my seed starting trays. Growing my own pepper, tomato and flower seedlings is like putting a down payment on the upcoming growing season.
- Tilling the garden – Most years, the spring window for plowing the garden in northern Ohio is relatively small. It requires a few sunny, breezy days in a row without precipitation for the soil to dry sufficiently for tilling or plowing. To me, the day I “break soil” is the first true day of the growing season.
- Sowing early-season crops – As soon as the soil is workable in the spring, in go the peas and onion sets. I love fresh peas straight from the pod and look forward to harvesting this early crop. In fact, I often find myself grabbing a handful of fresh peas to snack on whenever they’re available.
- Grass, grass and more grass – While I eagerly look forward to the grass greening up in the spring, it’s a double-edged sword. Our fast-growing spring turf needs to be cut about every five days. And if I fall behind and fail to mow our entire two-acre property, it takes even longer to manage the overgrown areas.
It seems, as fresh plant life bursts through from below the soil in the spring, so do the gardening tasks. But after a winter-long vacation from outdoor chores, I’m ready to hit the ground running!