Spring Garden Prepping Tips March 4, 2022 Email Excited for spring and new planting opportunities? Follow these tips to start your outdoor garden off on the right path this spring season: Seed Starting Many plants have a better chance of surviving outdoors if they grow from seeds indoors, where they are in a climate-controlled environment and protected from harsh weather and animals. Plant your seeds in a small container of soil, or choose peat pots that contain the roots of a plant, even as it grows into a larger plant outside. Start several more of each plant than you plan to grow, putting a few seeds in each hole. As you watch them grow, you can pluck the weaker plants and select the taller, healthier ones. Place the seeds in a warm area that receives lots of sunlight (or underneath a plant-growing light) and keep the soil moist. Wait until seedlings are 4-6 inches tall before transplanting outside. Turning and Treating Beds Head outside and prep your growing area. Turn over the soil, removing any excess leaves or stems from last year’s crop that haven’t yet decomposed. If necessary, add organic compost, manure, or mulch, depending on your soil content. Talk to garden store staff about the pH of the soil in your area and ask what they recommend. Though directly applied compost isn’t harmful, never apply manure to plants. Mix these components into the soil well before planting so their nutrients can begin to integrate throughout the garden bed. Perfecting Your Growing Setup Set up your garden beds with adequate sun and critter protection to maximize the survival of your plants. If available, unpack and set up any greenhouse components, bed covers, or watering systems that may have been stored for the winter. By following these steps, you will be well on your way to a thriving garden by the time summer rolls around!