Five Easy Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Spring

Plan, Plan, Plan:  This is the time of year to walk around your property and take stock.  If you don’t have an existing a plat or landscape plan, start with a GIS map of your property.  You can create one using Anne Arundel County’s WPRP Interactive Mapping Application. Walk around your yard with your map and take notes about what you love, which parts need tweaking, and, especially, any trouble spots that need to be addressed.  You can use this annotated map as a jumping off point to create a year-long plan for your property. 

Buy Your Seeds:  It’s no coincidence that seed catalogs are clogging up mailboxes these days.  This is the perfect time to order them and start seeds inside.  If you don’t have a sunny window or room to use, try this outdoor winter sowing method.  Remember, seeds are cheap compared to live plants, so take this opportunity to experiment.

Repair Structures:  Take a look at any structures on your property, such as sheds, fences, and retaining walls, and make any necessary repairs or improvements.  Add those potting shelves you’ve been dreaming about, create a compost bin in an unused corner of your yard, or build a trellis for those peas you will soon be planting. 

Move Deciduous Shrubs:  If you have deciduous shrubs that are not doing well in their current locations, now is the time to make a move when they are dormant.  Choose a day that is calm so that the roots don’t dry out as you are transporting the shrub(s).  Make sure to dig shrubs with plenty of room so that you can take as much of the root structure as possible.  Remember to plant them at the same level as they were previously, and water them well. 

Clear Stormwater Practices:  Make sure to remove leaves and other debris from any stormwater practices that require it.  RainScaping structures such as rain gardens and swales must be clear of debris to allow stormwater to flow freely and soak in effectively.