Even if there’s still a bite in the air, there are tasks you can undertake now to prepare for a spring garden. Tackling the following work today can pay off with vegetables later this season and a healthy garden that’s ready for prime growing weather.

Know Your Zone —

Though you may gather ideas for a gorgeous plot online, always keep your location and corresponding plant hardiness zone in mind. That beautiful English garden you envy may thrive in the Northeast, but it may not work in the South.

Do Some Cleaning —

Even if your garden has remained fallow over the winter, a good cleaning can be useful. Remove dead plant matter, rake up leaves and weed the beds. It’s also a good time to sharpen gardening tools.

Compost —

Start a compost pile using grass clippings, leaves, coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable scraps. Whether it’s simple or complex, a well-maintained compost pile can create nutrient-rich fertilizer in the future.

Plant Early —

Even if the temperature outside still feels chilly, your garden can be productive with cool-weather vegetables. Various berries thrive while the soil is still cool, as do greens like lettuce and kale and root vegetables such as carrots.

Add Mulch —

Applying mulch throughout the year is beneficial. In early spring, use mulch around new plantings to help keep the weeds out and add organic matter to the soil.

Control Pests —

The critters are just as hungry as you are for those early vegetables. Install netting to deter birds and squirrels. Keep an eye on leaves and shoots for signs of insects and treat accordingly.

Plan Late-Spring Planting —

After harvesting leafy greens and root vegetables, feed the soil with compost and start thinking about what to plant for summer harvesting.

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