It’s such an exciting time of the year! We can feel the temperatures slowly start to rise and before we know it we’ll be pulling fresh cherry tomatoes from the vines in our backyards and watching the daises bloom. But before we get there, there’s lots to be done to prepare for a successful growing season. Here’s are some ‘to-do’s’ for you to add to your list this April. 

Prepare the Soil

Now is the perfect time to do a Spring cleaning of your garden beds. Taking the time to build and loosen your soil will set you up for a more productive growing season. First, you’ll want to start by removing any weeds, mulch or debris covering up your bare soil. When removing the weeds, make sure you’re getting the entire root system or they might come back and try and compete with your garden plants! 

Over the Winter, soil tends to become more compact. Loosening the soil gives the roots of your plants a better chance at penetrating and establishing themselves. Depending on the size of the area you have, or how intense of a workout you’re after, you can loosen your soil using a rake, shovel or sharp spade or a power tool, like a tiller. Turn the soil to a depth of about 30cm or one foot. 

We carry All Treat manure products at our Windsor stores. Only the best!

Next, infuse your soil with the fresh nutrients your plants need for a successful growing season. These nutrients come in the form of manure. Generally speaking, 3-6cm or 1-2 inches of manure worked in to the top of your garden bed should do the job. However, if you have clay-based soil, you’ll want to add more to improve your soils texture, nutrients and moisture-retention. If your existing soil is particularly poor, you may want to consider building a raised garden bed. 

Plan Your Crop

While you eagerly await the opening of the Springtime Garden Centre near you, take some time to plan your garden layout. There are a handful of vegetables and flowers hardy enough to go in the ground in the first few days of the season that you’ll want to include on your shopping list. 

The cool, wet weather of Spring creates the perfect growing conditions for lettuce and we offer so many different varieties in store! Although we can’t participate in the tradition of planting peas on St. Patrick’s Day, because most of our ground is still covered in snow, if you plant them in early Spring, they’ll catch up! Peas grow quickly. Rhubarb is a perennial, meaning it will come back year after year and be one of the first to pop up in the garden each Spring. Other cool season veggies include kaleonionsspinachradishescarrotspotatoes and beets

Pansies and violas are a Spring classic. These adorable annuals come in bright cheery colours and bloom until the Summer’s hot sun fades them out. They tolerate frost well, so don’t be shy about planting them early! Sweet Alyssum looks dainty, but it’s tough and can handle any weather thrown its way. Other annuals that can take the cold include Osteospermum (aka African Daisies), DianthusPetuniasSnapdragons and Geraniums

Anticipate a Sudden Frost

Fingers crossed that once Springtime Garden Centres is open we won’t have an overnight frost, but it has happened, so it’s better to be prepared. Add it to the to-do list! 

Keep an eye on the weather forecast and the overnight lows, especially on days when you can feel moisture in the air. Potted plants are easy, just bring them indoors! For garden beds, simply cover them up with old blankets, bed sheets or drop cloths. Before you lay down the fabric, place sticks around your plants to create a tent-like structure and avoid breaking or bending the stems. Weigh down the edges and corners with stones or bricks so your tent doesn’t blow away. 

Did you like this? Share it: