The grass is dormant and plants are not blooming, but winter isn’t the time to slack off from working in the yard and gardens. In fact, this is the perfect time of year to work on design issues in the yard and plan for spring.
In his online seasonal gardening calendar, Georgia garden expert Walter Reeves notes that now is the time to “redesign your lawn for easier mowing. Eliminate sharp angles and narrow turf areas. Use mulch, new flower beds or a groundcover such as mondo grass there instead.”
In fact, officials at the University of Georgia note that winter is the time to have soil tested. The county extension office can assist.
“Developing and maintaining productive soils begin with soil testing,” notes a University of Georgia Extension Service publication. “Soil tests provide information on the soil’s actual nutrient status. Test results are used to determine the amount and kind of nutrients that should be added for the best growth of lawn, garden and other types of plants.”
Additionally, winter is the perfect time to sketch a new garden, determine what gardens should be moved and begin preparation for spring planting.
Augusta master gardener Mary Louise Hagler described how, a few years ago, she sketched her landscape in preparation for spring planting. She used the winter months to determine what flower beds she would move and where she might plant new plants and shrubs.
Several years ago, Hagler prepared a rough sketch of her home garden. She included what already existed in the garden and then added her ideas for spring.
“This advance garden planning helped me with shopping for seeds and transplants at the garden store,” she said of the process. “Having a plan for most anything will help you focus on what you need. It’s so easy to go astray in the garden centers.”
Now is also the time to check blades on mowers, clean garden tools and even give the garden shed a good once over, tossing old fertilizer and soils and organizing containers and tools.
As with any landscape or gardening plan, being prepared is key. Preparation now can make springtime planting a breeze and that much more fun.