Prepare Your Garden for Spring – Top 10 Essential Tips

It’s time to prepare your garden for spring and the upcoming growing season. This article will cover 10 crucial tasks to ensure your garden thrives and yields bountiful harvests, from clearing dead plants to starting seedlings indoors. 

Follow these expert tips for a successful growing adventure.

As winter fades and the signs of early spring reveal themselves in the garden, it’s the perfect time to prepare your garden for spring and think about spring cleaning!

Prepare your garden for spring - winter scene

Many jobs that need doing to get your garden ready for spring will apply to gardeners regardless of the crops you’re planning to grow. However, we’ll delve into specific areas for optimizing your chili growing season too.

Prepare Your Garden for Spring

1. Garden Clean-Up – Clear Dead Plants and Remove Weeds

Your first task to prepare your garden for spring is to clean your garden. Start by clearing any dead plants that have built up since last season. You may have removed a lot at the end of the previous year, but there may still be more to clear. In recent years in the UK, we’ve experienced a second growth spurt due to scorching temperatures. 

Prepare your garden for spring - clear dead plants and weeds

Collect dead leaves, twigs, and fallen branches to clear the debris. Mrs. ChilliChump uses the leaves to compost in any raised garden beds, and I like to put larger branches through the chipper to add to my compost.

Early spring is also a great time to get on top of weed control. If you’ve had rain recently, it can help loosen the weeds’ roots in the garden. Failing that, grab a garden fork to tease the soil around the weeds before pulling them out. Getting the weeds from the roots will minimize the risk of them coming back. However, they are the one thing guaranteed to grow yearly!

A good clearout will help prevent diseases and pests. 

2. Sharpen Your Garden Tools & Prune Trees and Shrubs

For all the organized gardeners amongst us (I’m not one of them), you’ll have already considered tending to your garden tools that need to be sharpened. I remember when I need them, so spring is the time I prefer for cleaning and sharpening the tools I need for the season ahead.

Once your tools are in good shape to prepare your garden for spring, and you can focus on pruning.

Prepare your garden for spring - sharpen tools

I’m always cautious about pruning too early, but I’ve read up on this a lot over the last couple of years as we’ve added to our fruit tree collection, and it’s essential to do it before new growth begins. A good prune will help to promote healthy growth for your plants. Use sharp and clean tools to prevent damaging your garden plants and trees.

3. Plan Your Spring Garden

First, think about the plants you want to grow and then plan where you want to plant them.

As you prepare your garden for spring, you’ll need to consider how much sunlight your garden gets, the water, and the space your fruit and vegetable plants need. For example, once it’s grown to a decent size, my corn will shade everything else, so I need to position this to the back of the beds. That’s why I left a lot of space between the raised bed and the greenhouse; the last thing I need is sweetcorn blocking light from the chilies.

4. Plan for Companion Planting with Bulbs & Perennial Flowers

Research and plan for companion planting, where certain plants are grown together to benefit each other in various ways, such as deterring pests or enhancing growth.

Planting bulbs and seeds early will allow you to scatter these companion plants amongst your fruit and vegetables to attract beneficial insects to minimize pests that could hamper your crops.

5. Prepare Your Soil or Compost For Planting

Consider adding compost, manure, or other nutrients to prepare your soil. Good soil preparation will help improve fertility and provide essential nutrients to your plants.

Prepare your garden for spring - prepare your soil

Take my chilli soil mix; I’ve experimented extensively over the last few years and overall I am pleased with the results. You can learn more about my mix in this chilli soil recipe video. Plus, take a look at my most recent soil experiment and avoid disappointment this growing season.

Add compost, manure, or other nutrients to prepare your garden for spring. Bare soil isn’t often the best soil structure for excellent crops. Our garden soil needs some additives at the start of each season to help our plants flourish.

Good soil preparation will help improve fertility and provide essential nutrients to your plants. You can conduct a soil test to uncover the pH and nutrient profile. This information will allow you to amend the soil with suitable fertilizers and nutrients to optimize plant growth in your vegetable garden.

Take my chili soil mix; I’ve worked extensively over the last few years and am pleased with the results. You can learn more about my mix in this chili soil recipe video. Look at my most recent soil experiment and avoid disappointment this growing season.

6. Sow Seedlings Indoors

Prepare your garden for spring - sow seedlings indoors

If you’ve been watching my youtube channel, you’ll know I started planting my chili seeds in late January. Many of the chilies (especially the super hots) and tomatoes I grow need a long growing season, so growing these crops in the UK is not ideal due to the weather.

For this reason, you can sow seeds in late winter to get started and prepare your garden for spring. Just make sure you have somewhere warm to keep them. So, start seedlings indoors for a head start on the growing season. Spring is a great time to start planning where you’ll be planting your seedlings in your garden this season.

7. Repair or Replace Garden Structures

Repair or replace damaged garden structures from last season or a fierce winter, such as fences, trellises, and gates.

We bought a new obelisk for our beans during the summer last year to replace the one I stitched together last season. My homemade structure didn’t last long in the Lincolnshire wind.

We also had a beautiful metal obelisk as a gift for the wildflower area, and we plan to use it as a frame for Jasmine to add some color and fragrance to this area.

I also planned to upgrade the raised bed for my giant pumpkin – having started with a homemade wooden bed last year and upgraded to a metal bed with more space for this season. We love these raised beds; Mrs. ChilliChump also has a couple. They were so easy to put together (she did it on her own), and they look great in the garden and the polytunnel.

If you’re looking to purchase some of these raised beds, below are a couple of affiliate links you can use, if you want to support my channel in the process. You’ll also benefit from a small discount.

And of course, I also need to experiment with new low-cost barriers to deter the neighbors’ cats from disturbing the other raised beds.

8. Mulch Garden Beds

I like to use natural mulch, such as bark, leaves, or branches that have been through the chipper, and you just spread an even layer of mulch around your plants. 

It doesn’t need a lot of preparation, but it helps to prepare your spring garden, and you can scatter it on top of the soil.

Prepare your garden for spring by mulching, as it keeps the moisture in the soil and can add a little barrier to minimize weeds. 

9. Install or Repair the Irrigation System & Start Collecting Rainwater

If you’re a keen techie like me or want to ensure that your crops are well looked after when you go on holiday, an irrigation system may make watering your plants more manageable and efficient. 

A sound irrigation system and a timer will ensure that your plants get the right amount of water at the right time. If you want to learn more about how to get started, these videos may help – Gravity-fed drip irrigation, Polytunnel drip irrigation, and Replacing drippers and irrigation maintenance.

So as you prepare your garden for spring, make sure you clear out any filters and gutters to maximize the rainwater you can collect. I’m always looking for new ways of harvesting rainwater to get me through the season. 

Prepare your garden for spring - corn crops

10. Attract Beneficial Wildlife

Attracting beneficial wildlife to your garden can help your garden and plants. Wildlife, such as beneficial insects, play a crucial role in pollination, which is essential for the reproduction of flowering plants.

Prepare your garden for spring - bee on a companion plant

Prepare your garden for spring carefully. You can attract these insects with specific plants by providing food, water, and shelter, increasing the likelihood of successful pollination in your garden, resulting in healthier and more abundant crops. 

Additionally, beneficial wildlife can act as natural pest control. Many insects and animals feed on pests that damage plants, such as aphids or caterpillars. By encouraging their presence in your garden, you can reduce the need for chemical pesticides and promote a more sustainable, eco-friendly approach to pest management.

Birds, bees, butterflies, and other animals help to maintain the ecological balance needed for a thriving garden, and we love seeing them in our garden.

Conclusion to Prepare Your Garden for Spring

These tips will help you to get started in time for the 2023 growing season and ensure you prepare your garden for spring effectively. As always, I’ll share our journey this year, so please consider subscribing. I love to see how everyone is getting on, and the harvests at the end of the season are always so satisfying, which is why I developed SeedsIO. SeedsIO gives you an excellent platform for tracking, managing and sharing your results with like-minded growers worldwide. Access gardening tips and tricks, showcase your crops and get inspired – access is free!

Prepare Your Garden for Spring – FAQs

What Should I Do First in My Garden?

When you prepare your garden for spring, it’s vital to prioritize specific tasks to set a solid foundation for your plants to thrive. 

First, you should clear the decks and tidy up your garden. We’ve tried to list the tasks above in a sensible order for you. This will help with making the prep manageable.

This will create a clean, welcoming space to focus on other tasks.

How Do You Add Nutrients to Soil in the Spring?

Adding nutrients to the soil for spring is essential for promoting healthy plant growth and ensuring a bountiful harvest.

One effective way to enrich the soil is using compost, a mixture of organic waste materials that decompose over time. 

Another popular option is incorporating chicken manure into the soil. Chicken manure is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, providing plants with the essential nutrients they need to thrive.

Another consideration is fish blood and bone, a natural fertilizer that can be added to the soil in the spring. This organic product is made from the waste products of fish processing. It is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium, making it an ideal addition to enhance the nutrient content of the soil.

By utilizing these various methods, gardeners can ensure their plants can access the necessary nutrients for optimal growth and development. 

How Can You Use Coffee Grounds in Your Garden?

Coffee grounds can be a great addition to your garden, as they are packed with nutrients that plants need to thrive.

One way to use coffee grounds is by adding them to your compost containers. Coffee grounds are considered “green” or nitrogen-rich material, which helps to balance the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio in the compost pile. They also introduce organic matter, improving the texture and fertility of the compost.

Another option is to use coffee grounds in your worm bins. Worms love coffee grounds, and they help to break them down into nutrient-rich castings, which are excellent for plants.

Coffee grounds protect your garden as a natural repellent for specific pests, such as slugs and snails. 

Additionally, coffee grounds can be spread directly in the garden as mulch or mixed with soil in the planting hole for plants that prefer acidic conditions, such as blueberries or roses. So next time you make your morning cup of joe, remember to save the grounds for your garden! And be on the lookout for free coffee grounds while you’re out and about, as companies like Starbucks and Costa Coffee will have bags to grab alongside your latte!

Is Bagged Compost Any Good?

 Bagged compost can be a good option for gardeners who do not have the time or resources to make their compost at home.

Bagged compost is typically made from organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings, and food scraps that have been decomposed and broken down into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. While the nutrient profile of bagged compost may vary depending on the brand and manufacturing process, it generally contains a wide range of essential plant nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients. Also, bagged compost is sterilized to eliminate potential weed seeds or harmful pathogens. However, it is essential to carefully read the label and choose a reputable brand to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the bagged compost. 

If you have the time and space to make your compost, that is my preference. There may be less control over the levels of organic materials and nutrients, but it’s way more satisfying!

If you liked this article and want to be alerted to new articles, including tips and tricks for chilies and other produce, gardening automation and turning your crops into tasty recipes, subscribe to the ChilliChump newsletter.

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