Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beginning Gardening-- Spring Cleaning your Outdoor Spaces before Planting

Spring has Sprung, which means its time for spring planting. Last Friday the temperature climbed to the 80's in Denver, but on Sunday it snowed. Welcome to crazy Colorado weather! Yet despite the often erratic temperatures in Colorado, I see the garden centers crawling with people buying plants. This always worries me, because what will happen when a person drops a ton of cash for flowers, plants them, and then two weeks later it freezes?

Its always important to know the last frost date for planting in your area. In my area of Colorado it's around the end of April, although I like to play it safe and not plant until the middle of May.

That gives me six weeks to clean up my garden and prepare for planting!

Last summer I didn't garden at all. I was still overwhelmed from my first year of law school, exhausted with pregnancy, and well, just plain tired! Because I didn't garden last year, my huge garden plot was grown over with volunteer vegetables, onions, herbs, and weeds of all kinds. While the blooming onion stalks were lovely in the fall and covered with frost, it's time to get them cleaned up! 

My Gardening To Do List before May 15th includes:
  • Cleaning, lawn, garden, and open space immediately next to my garden of any debris, branches, and dried overgrowth.
  • Start seeds indoors. This is an new adventure for me, I've never started seeds inside before, and I'm already a bit nervous about it. (And behind, as I should have started my seeds last week!)
  • Prepare garden beds for spring planting by adding organic matter or compost-- or in my case, adding manure. Nothing makes a garden grow better than well rotted and dried cow poop!
  • Clean up the patio furniture and outdoor accessories, and prepare containers for planting.
  • Plant cool-season crops like lettuce and peas.
  • Repair dead spots in the lawn before weeds take over. Fertilize and reseed the lawn where necessary.
  • Talk husband into getting the sprinkler system up and ready for use.
  • Prune roses and fertilize.
  • Apply mulch to landscape beds and borders. Mulch helps cut back on weeding, as well as conserving soil moisture.
Thank goodness the days are getting longer, it looks like I've got a lot of work to do!


Amanda said...

I SO wish that I had a garden! Sadly, just a back patio on a second story. If I'm still in this house next spring/summer though, I'm definitely looking into raised beds or a community garden or something!

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

I dream of having a garden to get crazy with! I don't know if I would really do it if I had the chance, but for now it is easy to say I would!


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