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Preparing Your Garden for Spring

Category Helpful Hints
Planning and work in the depths of winter will pay off with less weeds and bigger plants during the growing season. This is a page about preparing your garden for spring.


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February 4, 2012

We farm, so we have an abundance of "fresh" fertilizer. The past 2 weeks, we have been collecting it and moving it to our raised garden beds. Many manures, such as horse and cow (among others), will kill a plant if applied directly to it while fresh. Each is different, but cow manure takes 30-45 days to age, so that it is safe for the plants. By adding them to my raised beds now, the heat will be gone by the time we start our planting in mid to late March.

If you know a farmer, most will be more than willing to let you go gather some from their pastures at no charge. It's free, organic, and better on the environment than using the ones with chemicals or found in plastic bags.

Source: I learned this the hard way, after applying it too close to the growing season years ago.

By mom-from-missouri from Plattsburg, MO

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March 14, 2017

March 10

A snowfall is predicted to occur in a few days. So, I wanted to get a few pictures. Some of my plants could be hurt dramatically by heavy snow. As having the pics for my records, I thought I'd share them with you.


Late winter means a lot of work. Debris continues to accumulate past fall. A lot of clean up is in order.

Most of that debris can be salvaged to enrich the potting soil I make. I grade and sift the debris (shown in the bucket), before adding it to my soil. As it breaks down, it adds nutrients and provides excellent drainage.

Here is one of my several young arborvitaes I keep talking about. I fed them a couple of weeks ago, Now, they are really greening up.

Here is a young Buddhlea I am training as a standard. I looked closely at this little one. Would you believe it already has tiny bloom buds on it!

Heat plays the dickens on cabbage plants. They are a cool season crop. They need to be planted early and grown as quickly as you can, so as to get mature plants before the real heat sets in. Here are a few of my fifty some plants.

My day lilies are getting an early start. I'll be needing to find homes for these eager beavers.

This is the euonymus I use to hide an ugly foundation. It can even be used as a ground cover and kept mowed just like grass. As it has so many applications, I keep several tubs of rootings going at any given time.

What a delight to see this. I have several varieties of grapes. This one happens to be one of the early bearers.

I'm growing a row of Leyland cypress as a privacy screen. The one pictured had its top broken out and was marked down to $5.00. In two years, it has grown to a $40.00 plant. Not a bad investment.

The beloved Paeony. One of the first to emerge in spring. This one seldom blooms. It is begging me to give it a home in the ground. And I shall.

It's inevitable. We all lose plants. For some beds I keep spare plants going in the background. These pansies will serve as replacements should some die.

Snow peas are another that must be planted early. In late spring, these will be 7 feet tall and laden with pods. They are so tender and sweet; I eat them straight from the vine.

It seems it's never too early for strawberries to bloom. If these do well in tubs, I will do several tubs, next year.

This wisteria bloom bud is 20 years in the making. Last year, the vine bloomed for the first time. There was just one bloom. This year, the vine is literally covered. A later picture is sure to come. Oh, happy day!

I've forgotten the name of this plant. It is very hardy, blooms off and on throughout the year. I stuck it in a more wooded part of my property. I think it needs company. I will root more. They are easily rooted. Anybody know its name?

This is about half of the pictures I took. Gotta draw the line somewhere.

They say a woman's work is never done. How about a gardener's work? How about a gardener who happens to be a woman? Truth be known, the woman with hoe in hand, did more to build this great land than most men would even dare to think about.

I think I'll take a nap about now.

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By 5 found this helpful
March 23, 2011

Both of my grandfathers swore blue that to plant out any of the fruiting vegetables before Easter was asking for weird weather and replanting. Even though the date for Easter does move around, it certainly has been true for my garden.

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February 7, 20122 found this helpful

Winter is a great time for planning, preparing, and organizing next year's garden. Here are some plan-ahead projects for the winter months that will help you get a jump on next year's growing season.

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January 22, 20090 found this helpful

It's winter, and I am covered in mailorder catalogs. I often have two or three open at a time, carefully making my selections of what I think I can grow this coming year.


I also know some of the stores will have seeds for sale, very soon.

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By 1 found this helpful
September 11, 2008

When it comes to lawn and garden problems, prevention is the best cure. Fall affords gardeners a great opportunity to set the tone for next year's growing season ...

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October 4, 2011

In order to have a bountiful garden, I leave all my bug infested fall produce and rotted produce in the garden for the winter. Or, I dig it in. Where I live, winter is harsh, and it is composted over the winter months.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 30, 2019

We purchased a home 2 years ago that has established jasmine as part of the front yard landscape. It's got a lot of dead leaves, debris, and some branches that appear to be dead. How do we clear out the leaves so that we can fertilize the planting? It was very pretty the year before last; not so much now. It was possibly planted when the home was built in or around 2003.


Thanks for any advice!


March 31, 20190 found this helpful

I use a long-handled rake to clean out mine.

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March 31, 20190 found this helpful

Thanks Judy. Our Jasmine bushes are too dense to use a rake. We've been on our hands and knees trying to clean out the base of our rather large planting but even that's going to take forever..........

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March 31, 20191 found this helpful

We used to have one of those leaf things that had a bag and could blow leaves away or vacuum them up. Perhaps you could use one of them to get the loose stuff out and then take a tree pruner (the one we have is adjustable) and snip out the dead stuff that isn't loose.

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March 31, 20192 found this helpful

First of all I would cut back the branches of the Jasmine bush, don't worry they will grow back , to where you can easily rake underneath the growth and if possible use a hand rake to clean around the roots.

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March 31, 20191 found this helpful

Do what you can with a leaf rake then put on a good set of garden gloves that protect against cuts etc (not the pretty fabric ones) and use your hands and the handheld garden forks (claws? I don't know what they are called.) I would wear long sleeves too. Get the last little bit with leaf blower.

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March 31, 20191 found this helpful


I am sure that it is hard to get to. Can you possibly get an attachment for the water hose, and pressure spray all the debris from out from under the Jasmine? In any event, be careful of snakes if you are using a garden tool that is not as long as a rake.




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March 31, 20191 found this helpful

I've use two tools to clean debris from under my closely spaced arborvitae: a child's rake (which I broke) and an old full size rake from which I cut several tines off on either side to leave only enough to get between the trees. I agree with the reader who suggested trimming the trees up to aid in the process (and make things look neater) as well. Good luck!

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April 1, 20190 found this helpful

Thanks very much. We have a leaf blower that does both so will try that. Thanks again; have a wonderful day!

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April 1, 20190 found this helpful

Great idea. We were worried that if we cut those back that appear to be dead they won't come back.


Since it's early enough in the spring we'll go ahead now. Thanks so much.

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April 1, 20190 found this helpful

Awesome. We'll give that a try. I've bought us both the long gloves that go up to the elbows for our rose and palm tree prunining. Have a great day!

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April 3, 20190 found this helpful

Leaf blower works best for the vining ones. Put an old sheet or cheap shower curtain to "catch and bag".

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April 27, 20120 found this helpful

Last fall I tilled up a new garden plot and planted a winter rye cover. It came along nicely. I left it the winter and it is now greening nicely. Should I wait or should I till it now? And should I do anything to the soil before I plant. It is for mostly root vegetables.

By Kim L


May 7, 20120 found this helpful

Till it now! Don't let any green manure crop go to seed, you will never get rid of it and it will be a serious pest. By tilling it now you can give it a short time to start breaking down before you plant.

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