Plan in winter for next summer’s yard projects


Have you made your list and checked it twice? Plan in winter for next summer’s yard project and be ahead of the game when temperatures rise in the spring. Start with a to-do list so you’ll be organized and ready to spring (pun intended) into action!

Some things to think about

  • Have you purchased seeds? Start them indoors about six weeks before the last frost in your area. That way, they’ll be ready to plant when the soil temperature has warmed up. (Consider planting some seeds this fall to give them a head start for next year. The seed packets will tell you which ones can be planted.)
  • Sketch out where you’ll move any transplants and the dimensions of any new garden areas you want to add.
  • What plants will you buy for your flowerpots?
  • Will you establish a composting area? It can be straightforward: a flat area near your house or garden where you can put an old trash can with holes poked in the side; a rectangle of hay bales or cement blocks, open in the center to hold composting matter; or a circle of mesh fencing. List the materials you’ll need and prepare the area.
  • As weather permits, prepare your soil or dig a new planting bed during the winter months to save time in the spring. Top-dress garden beds with organic compost or seasoned manure. Spade organic compost into it or other organic amendments.
  • Are your garden tools ready to go, free of caked-on dirt? Add a coat of oil to the metal parts to prevent rust.
  • Save this year’s plant containers for starting seeds next spring.
  • Walk around your yard and note areas that will need tending next spring: A high point or depression in the ground that needs attention? A boggy area you want to fix or turn into a water garden? Tree and shrub trimming?
  • How much mulch will you need for your beds? (Let fallen leaves lie over the winter. If you don’t want them on your turf areas, rake them into flower beds, where they’ll serve as mulch over the winter and nourish the soil as they decompose.

When you plan ahead for next summer’s yard projects, you’ll escape some of the crush of early spring chores, and your efforts will be more orderly and enjoyable.

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