During the winter months we gardeners suffer a little here in the northeast. Without beds to watch over and plants to monitor a gardener can get pretty restless. However, this time of the year there are things you can do so that in the spring you are ready to dig in!
Photo credit: Steenbergs on Visual Hunt / CC BY
1 – Organize Your Shed or Garage
Once spring comes you are not going to want to spend the time looking for tools that you know are “around here somewhere!” On a warm afternoon take the time to open your shed or spend some time in your garage. Organize and take note of what tools need to be cleaned, sharpened or replaced. Use baskets or bins to organize like items. Stack and sort pots. Hang you hoses. With your space ready to go you will be too.
2 – Clean, Sharpen of Repair Your Tools
Get out your hand tools and clean them off. Dish liquid works wonders for removing sap and grime. If they are really sticky, rubbing alcohol will get that off, and as a bonus it works to sterilize. If your tools developed some rust you can soak them overnight in white vinegar. Then use a wire brush to remove any remaining rust. Dull blades on your hand pruners? Take the time to give them a quick sharpen. Sharpen the edge of your shovels. Sharpen saw and trimmer blades or take them to be serviced.
Broken handles? Replace them with new ones. No one likes splinters or having their handle break mid project. Leaky hose ends? Fit them with new ones. Anything you can do ahead of time will save you time and effort in the spring.
Photo credit: rkramer62 on Visualhunt.com / CC BY
3 – Cut Down Remaining Grasses and Perennials
Did fall get away from you? Do you still have ornamental grasses and perennials in your landscape that are starting to get floppy now that they have been snowed on? We get the occasional warm, sunny day in the winter – take advantage of that weather and cut down any remaining dead plants you didn’t get to in the fall. There will be plenty of garden debris to get rid of in the spring, why not get rid of some of it now? It will lighten the burden once things melt.