Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Preparing for Spring – January Heat Wave

 This is the time of year most gardeners begin to browse seed catalogs and dream of warmer days ahead. Typically, January is the month that winter really settles in and delivers its coldest, nastiest weather. However, this past weekend was anything but. Temperatures reaching into the mid-70s provided all the motivation I needed to get outside in the garden.

My garden to-do list is always long and one quick look around the yard confirmed that. Regardless, I decided to focus my attention on the spring vegetable garden. While planting is still a ways away, there are things that can be done now to get the soil conditioned for the spring planting season. This is the time to put all those shredded leaves I’ve collected this fall to good use. Leaves are packed with trace minerals and when added to the garden, leaves feed earthworms and beneficial microbes. They lighten heavy soils and help sandy soils retain moisture. And best of all, they’re free!

Leaves, garden

Once piled on the garden, I lightly work them into the soil. This will help them break-down even faster.

Leaves, garden

In addition to adding organic matter to the soil, turning the soil this time of year helps to keep winter weeds from becoming established and unearths burrowing pest that will hopefully be lapped up by the birds.

And speaking of birds – be sure to keep those feeders cleaned and stocked with fresh birdseed. Birds are more dependent on seed this time of year and can really benefit from our feeders, not to mention the satisfaction that we get from watching them!

Carolina chickadee, Suet bird feeder

Carolina chickadee


Dawn Fine said...

Well here y ou are, getting everything ready for spring., nice ta see ya!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

How are you doing? Missed seeing you on the blogosphere lately. Les said you were published recently. Hooray!

Alan Pulley said...

Thanks Dawn! Yes, spring will be here before you know it!

Janet, I'm doing fine, thanks. It's good to be back. Les was correct, I had a couple articles published in the Feb. edition of VA Gardener Magazine. Very exciting! I hope your doing well.

Les said...

Have you seen the forecast for next week? I think Mother Nature will be making up for those 70 degree days.

Ni de Aqui, Ni de Alla said...

Hi! I used to live in house in VA, and fed the birds. But now I live in a apartment in Nebraska. So I will be visiting your blog to see pictures of the birds.

sensiblegardening said...

I won't be ammending my soil with a foot of snow on the ground, but for sure the birds are being fed!

Anonymous said...

Its nice to know that other people also struggle with small areas. I find that it is a stress reliever having all the birds in my yard to watch! Does anyone else?

online nursery said...

My goodness,its almost wintertime again and time for the bird cakes and red birds in the snow : Doesn't seem like it was but yesterday and we were indeed welcoming spring in. Now it's leaving as quickly as it came.