While the weather right now throughout Massachusetts is frightful and ice covers your landscape, it may not seem like the perfect time work on your garden. But good planning makes for a good garden. In the dead of winter when it’s too cold to do much of anything in your yard, you can decide what you want to plant and map out its placement.
Find some inspiration online by looking at gardens that appeal to you. Make a list of what shrubs, trees, vines or flowers you think you can incorporate in your garden this year. Take note of the planting times for each and which will use seeds, roots or nursery bought plants. You may even want to shop online now for seeds or plants. Good quality, desirable plants or flowers sometimes have limited quantity. Purchasing them now will secure them for your spring garden and vendors typically wait to ship them until the season is appropriate. If you have leftover seeds from previous years, pull them out and check them over. You can even start seeds indoors in late winter Seed starter kits can be purchased at local stores or you can create your own using paper egg cartons.
Draw a map for your garden. Place taller plants or flowers behind shorter ones for the greatest visual impact. You can review growth information on most plants or seeds when you buy them, or online. If you’re planting a vegetable garden, do some research on companion planting, as many garden veggies grow better when planted with certain plants but not so much with others.
On a winter day when there’s no snow or ice and the ground is not frozen, prepare your garden by tilling to allow any weed seeds and grubs to be exposed and die in the winter cold. You may want to turn the ground one or two more times over the winter.
Some thoughtful planning now, will ignite your enthusiasm and make for a better garden in the spring.
Rodrigo Dos Anjos