Creating a Garden Calendar – Day 12 Garden prep

We are working our way through a series called “Creating a Garden Calendar“.  If this is your first time joining us, welcome.  You are not too late to join us.  Grab a calendar, pen, and beverage of choice.  You will be right where we are in no time.

Wow.  You have come such a long way towards getting your calendar together.  Is it starting to look filled up?  We are almost done with this series, only a few days left, and I am getting so anxious to actually start my garden.  However, there is snow on the ground outside and temperatures are currently in the 30’s  (that is around 0 degrees Celsius for those not in the U.S.).   Not exactly gardening time now is it?  However, that is exactly why I wanted to create the calendar now.  Seed starting time is just a few weeks off for me, for certain plants that is.  Okay, now I’m starting to wonder and day dream.  It doesn’t help that I checked out videos on seed starting this morning.

The details we are adding to our calendars today have to do with garden preparations.  This is a bit hard for me to write specifics on as every garden and gardener are different.  It is impossible for me to say that you, personally, will need to remove old limbs and leaves, add a certain kind of compost and then till up your soil.  What if you live in an area that has no limbs or leaves?  Or it is possible that you have no need to till your soil due to gardening in raised beds.

With that in mind I am going to give you an idea or activities to add to your calendar, but the bulk of the thinking will have to be left up to you.  As you go through the list below, ignore what doesn’t apply to you.  Think of this more as a list to start from and perhaps jog your memory and just get you thinking about the process.  Also, these are in no specific order.  Some people prefer to do things differently than I.  For that reason I would encourage you to first write your list on a scrap piece of paper.  Once you have your items in order you can add them to your calendar.

  • add compost, lime, ash, calcium, etc.
  • turn soil over – till or with a trowel
  • add soil – for me this means that I need to make my raised beds taller.  I have been in other places where a garden has a low spot that just needs soil added.  Again, think about YOUR garden.
  • trim bushes, shrubs, and trees – those nearby and those that may be part of your garden.  Note your spring and fall times or reminders for this
  • remove debris – limbs that have fallen (compost these if possible, don’t thrown them away), old markers that were missed last year, etc.
  • take stock of: tomato cages (number and condition), landscape fabric or mulch, trellises, cages, markers, seed starting materials (pots, soil, trays, light bulbs, space), watering post and other materials you will use along the way
  • note a day to send in soil for a soil test
  • canning supplies – jars, lids, pectin, canners (what condition are they in, do you need/want to get your pressure canner checked, do you need more/bigger/smaller ones this year), shelving for jars (do you have space to store what you will preserve and for empty jars)
  • add drainage solutions
  • paint or waterproof decorative items

There are some items I will need to do in certain parts of the garden (till up soil from an area that used to be part of a flower garden) but not in others (raised beds).  It is easy for me to focus on just one part of my garden and ignore the others until it is too late. Don’t forget to think about your whole garden.

What is something you forgot about or forgot to do last year until it was too late?  Are there areas of your garden/yard that get neglected?  Is there something you think should be added to this list?  Please leave a comment so we can all be reminded of what needs done.