more organized rests somewhere in the middle of my lengthy list of New Year’s
resolutions. It includes staying on top of my regular gardening chores and
getting ahead of each gardening season before it’s upon me.
spring around the corner, the first step is taking stock of the garden and
setting some goals. This is when I put pencil to paper and get tough on my
landscape, thinking about both tasks and
addition to tackling major items, there are also many simple chores to be done. Here are a few of the things you can do now so you're ready when it's time to start planting.
Clean out your pots and
containers. It’s important to start fresh when you pot up
new plants. Old pottery can contain salt
deposits or diseases borne by last season’s plants. Physically remove old dirt or debris with a
scrub brush. If you can, submerge the pots in a solution of 1 part bleach to 9
parts water. If the pots are too big for that, pour the water all around them. Then be sure to rinse them well and dry them
in the sun.
Take stock of your
garden tools. Rusty, dirty, dull, or broken tools need to
be prepared for the hard work you’ll demand of them when the weather warms
up. First, scrub your tools with soapy
water and dry them well. You can use
steel wool or a wire brush to remove rust.
Then smooth out old wooden handles with a little elbow grease and some
sandpaper. Sharpen your clean equipment
with a metal file, smoothing out nicks or jagged edges. Finally, apply a little lubricating oil to
the metal blade and wooden handles and rub it in well so it isn’t slippery. And if your pruners have seen better days,
consider buying a new pair. Nothing makes garden work easier than a shiny new
pair of pruners.
Check your irrigation
Whether you have a sprinkler system or you’ve set up your own drip hose system,
give it a good inspection, looking for leaks, clogs and areas not receiving
adequate coverage. Making sure
everything is in good working order will save time and money later, preventing you
from having to dig up dead or dying new plants in the spring.
Amend your soil. Does clay or limestone make digging
impossible in your garden? Did the
scorching summer heat turn the soil in your beds rock-hard? Use this time to
amend the soil in your beds. A good soil
blend, with some form of compost, granite sand and gypsum can help to lighten
up our poor soil. There are many good independent local sources for soil – both
in bulk and bagged – that work well in Central Texas.
Clean your birdhouses. In March, make sure your birdhouses are ready
for their new inhabitants. If the house
is vacant, open the roof or the back door to the house and empty out the nest. Wipe down the box with a bleach solution like
that used for cleaning your pots. Then hang
it back up with a welcome sign for a new brood of baby birds.
winter is a slower season in the garden, it doesn’t last long here in Central
Texas. The time for putting your feet up
and perusing seed catalogs is quickly coming to an end.
Make sure you’re ready when the garden calls
again. What's on your to-do list?
Labels: bird house, pots, prep, to do, tools, winter chores