Yeah, you're right. The tomatoes at the grocery store aren't that good.
Grow your own home garden goodies (and save serious money) with this outdoor spring garden checklist that’ll have veggies, herbs, flowers, and annuals sprouting from your soil Jack-and-the-Beanstalk style (minus the rampaging giant).
How to Prep Your Garden for Spring
Try these gardening tips and tricks early in the season to prepare your plots, sans hours of sweaty labor.
- Clean, sharpen garden tools: Dull, dirty tools make all gardening harder, plus introduces harmful fungi or bacteria into your beds.
- Clear it out: Remove twigs, leaves, and debris from your garden beds, as well as grass and any other infringing overgrowth.
- Manage weeds: About a month before you plan to seed, drape a plastic tarp over all garden beds, ensuring corner-to-corner coverage. Then, when the time comes to plant, uncover the beds and apply a layer of organic compost. This simple method won’t give common garden weeds a chance. (We’re looking at you, clovers and nettles.)
- Aerate the soil: Use a basic spike or plug digging fork, trowel, or spade to break up clumpy garden beds. For best results, aerate the top-most 5-6 inches of soil, then add a layer of organic fertilizer before seeding.
- Control soil temperature: Build fertilizer-heated hotbeds, row covers, plant cones, and other soil-temperature controls to nurture ideal conditions for warmth-loving seedlings (e.g., eggplant and bell peppers).
What Gardening Tools Do I Need to Prep My Garden?
Less really is more when it comes to preparing your garden beds.
Avoid overthinking (and overspending) on tools with this no-frills gardening checklist that won’t clutter your garage, plus provides a multi-purpose toolset for years of landscaping.
- Hand trowels: A basic hand trowel set includes flat and curved garden trowels for easy soil scooping, digging, and flattening.
- Pruning shears: Garden scissors cut and shape plants to permit optimal levels of shade and sunlight.
- Cut and puncture resistant gardening gloves: Yard gloves designed to protect against puncturing thorns, branches, and garden debris let you enjoy your plants, not battle them. Select double layered natural leather puncture resistant men’s or women’s gardening gloves for your pruning, trimming and cutting pair that’s both comfortable and breathable. If you're really not messing around, check out these best-fit, no-slip grip-dot work gloves certified at a Level 5 Cut-Resistance rating. (Yeah, that’s a thing.)
- Gardening knee pads: Look for the best knee pads for gardening that are a thick yet lightweight foam material, waterproof, and adjustable.
- Safety sunglasses: Anti-scratch and UV-blocking aren’t buzzwords when it comes to the best gardening eyewear stopping sun and soil from damaging your eyes.
- Outdoor work apron: Protect your clothes, tuck away your tools, and work more efficiently with an work apron made for gardening, grilling or woodworking. Oh, and it helps you look the part, too. You know, for when the neighbors pop by.
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