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How To Prepare For Spring – Top Five Mid-Winter Gardening Tips

Updated on April 24, 2012

One last snow:

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Spring! I can't wait!


By the end of January in the Northeastern portion of the Untied States, days are noticeably longer than before the Winter Solstice, and it’s time to start preparing for the imminent spring. There is a lag time before the obvious changes that lick off spring begin, so mid-January through mid-March is often the coldest, snowiest and most dismal part of the year, however, and it can take real effort to believe that very soon Mother Nature will flip the switch from winter to spring. And yet, once the temperatures begin to rise and herbaceous perennial plants and deciduous trees and shrubs break dormancy, a gardener will be too busy to think! So get a jump-start by taking care of a few things before you are too busy to think.

Browse garden catalogues & websites

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The Top Five Tips for Early Spring in the Garden

1. Browse seed and gardening catalogs and websites. Many have pre-season special offers, including free shipping, so this is the best time to order seeds, tools, chemicals, fertilizers and those little necessities: stakes, twine, ties, plant markers.

Prune fruit trees now so they will bloom perfectly!

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2. Fruit trees benefit from heavy pruning now. Many municipalities discontinue leaf and twig pick up and recycling during the winter, so check to see when pick up commences and plan to either store the clipping until then, compost them yourself or deliver them to a township recycling area.

Inspect your orchids

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3. Inspect your houseplants, especially the orchids. Remove and dead or unhealthy growth and keep on the lookout for new flower spikes to emerge on the orchids. It’s best to get those attached to a wire support as soon as they begin to shoot upward to insure they won’t get broken off.

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4. Call to have your mower picked up for sharpening, and send your shovels and trowels in at the same time. But wait on the pruners and loppers until you are finished with mid-winter pruning chores. If you don’t own good shovels, trowels and clippers, or if your old ones are ready for retirement, now is a great time to buy new ones.

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Starting Seeds in an Egg Carton

Use seed starting mix and egg cartons to get a head start on spring
Use seed starting mix and egg cartons to get a head start on spring | Source

5. Save egg cartons for starting seeds in your windows or buy ready-made seed starting trays. Stock up on seed starting mix, and if you have a greenhouse or use any non-sterilized potting soils, also be sure you have anti-cut worm and slug control on hand to protect seedlings.

Taking care of these things will also help you mentally prepare for the busy time to come. It may be hard to believe, but spring really is right around the corner!


Copyright © Roberta Lee 2012. All rights reserved.


(I am an artist and the author of the Suburban Sprawl series of novels as well as two nonfiction books. Find out more about my work at RobertaLeeArt.com.)

Spring is right around the corner!

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You're going to need a good shovel, here's one I recommend:

Mostly I garden because:

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    • DIYmyOmy profile image
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      DIYmyOmy 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Do you have a favorite tip for gardeners? Let us know.....

    • profile image

      Stretch 2 years ago

      I read your pontisg and was jealous

    • profile image

      Melissa 2 years ago

      This ariclte keeps it real, no doubt.

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