“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt” ~Margaret Atwood
Spring blooming bulbs are (finally!) underway and require no attention other than regular admiration but there is plenty to do in the garden during the longer days of late March.
- Start out with spring garden cleaning – cut down stalks of dead plants you left up all winter as habitat for overwintering insects, shake any remaining seed pods onto the ground (if you want plant seeds to self-sow) and clear away any debris
- Check your tools to see if any any wooden handles are dry (linseed oil is good for this) or need sharpening; check pots left outside to see if any have cracks.
- If you haven’t had your soil tested, now’s a good time to do it. While local cooperative extension services often offer soil testing, UMass Amherst is also a good option.
* More useful information on soil testing in a previous post
- Get going (if you haven’t done so already) on indoor seed starting – tomatoes and peppers and other plants that need to wait for warmer soils to be planted outside should be started 4-6 before average last frost date. Useful instructions on seed starting from a previous post are right here, and instructions for an easy DIY seed starting stand (also from previous post) are right here
- Give the garden a good raking over to loosen the top soil and break up any clumps of dirt – this in preparation for sowing seeds for cool season planting
* Greens: Lettuce, spinach, chard, mustard, kale
* Root crops: Carrots, radishes, beets, turnips, kohlrabi
* Early peas such as snow peas and sugar snap