Start Indoor Seeds
Late winter is the perfect time to start seeds indoors for your vegetable garden. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and head lettuce are all good plants to start six to eight weeks before the date of your last expected frost. Watching those seedlings sprout will certainly get you in the gardening mood, no matter how cold it is outside.
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Prune Fruit Trees
The best time to prune fruit trees is while they're dormant, right after the dead of winter but before the beginning of spring. Head outside on a day that's neither wet nor too cold so you can clearly assess what needs to be cut, then trim as needed to create a clear canvas for a flush of fresh growth come spring.
Construct a Planter
When you finally see those spring flowers at your local nursery or home improvement store, you're probably going to want to load up your cart with them. Prepare for this horticultural binge by building some planters to house your soon-to-be-bought blooms.
Test Your Soil
Test your soil now to see if you need to make any amendments before spring. Send a soil sample to your local extension office, or pick up a test kit at your local home improvement store. Testing is quick and simple, and will give you all the information you need to create a healthy environment for your lawn and garden at the start of the growing season.
Place Planting Orders
Clean Out Containers
Pests and diseases can overwinter in soil, so thoroughly wash and disinfect all your pots and planters to rid them of unwanted guests. Once they're clean, they’ll be ready to host new plants this spring.
Nothing will make those last weeks of winter more bearable than having fresh-cut flowers inside to brighten up your home. You can force early spring bloomers like forsythia and pussy willow by cutting them, bringing them indoors, and placing them in warm water in a sunny spot. In a week or two, you’ll have a burst of color to inspire you as you plan your garden.
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Gear Up the Garage
On a mild day, move cold-weather tools like snowblowers, snow shovels, sleds, and scrapers to the back of the garage or into storage. Replace them with your gardening gear so you're ready to take on spring as soon as the temps show it's time.
Plant Cool-Weather Veggies
If you just can’t wait to put some seeds in the soil, you’re in luck. Late February and early March are the right time to plant low-maintenance vegetables like broccoli rabe, kale, and spinach. Pick up some seed packets and sow them right in the ground. Come April, you’ll be harvesting a nonstop crop of fresh produce for dinner.
Build a Compost Bin
Compost is as valuable to a gardener as gold (hence the nickname “black gold”). Build a compost bin so you can stock up on your own supply to enrich the soil in your landscaping beds and planters. There are plenty of designs out there, and many that you can DIY as soon as this coming weekend.
Taking care of these landscaping chores now will give you time later to actually enjoy your yard come the warm weather.
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