Many garden tasks can be completed now in preparation for a successful growing season. Consider some of these suggestions from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.
- Test your soil. A soil test provides an analysis of nutrients in the soil and measures the pH of the soil, which impacts the availability of soil nutrients. A written report provides recommendations for the amount of fertilizer needed for a specific crop or lawn.
- Order seeds now. You can start seeds for lettuce, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, lima beans, cucumbers and squash inside, then plant them outside after the chance of frost has passed. Don’t plant seeds outside until then.
- Fight lawn weeds. Summer lawn weeds, like crabgrass, dandelions and spurge, can be prevented by pre-emergent herbicides. These herbicides are applied to lawns prior to the germination of weed seeds. They control weeds during the germination process but do not actually prevent germination. Apply these herbicides by March 15.
- Compost leaves. If you have a lot of leaves on the ground, shred them and add them to your garden as mulch or work them into the soil to improve the organic matter. Leaves that have not been shredded are best added to your compost pile to provide carbon, or “brown,” material. If they haven’t been shredded, leaves tend to form a mat and don’t break down.
- Inspect and repair tools. If handles have started to crack or turn gray, sand them down and apply a coat of marine or outdoor varnish to preserve the life of the handle. Keep tools out of the weather and in a shed or garage in organized spaces.
Source: UGA Cooperative Extension