It's mid-winter. Temps are dropping. Snow is falling. What's a gardener to do? Beginning gardeners might think they're at a standstill until spring. Actually, there's quite a bit of garden prep work you can do right now. Here's some things you might not have thought of that will save time when the ground thaws.
Beat the rush by ordering your landscape materials now. If you know you'll be needing basic planter's mix, compost, mulch or rock, why leave it until spring? Spread the expense out. Order for future pick up or have it delivered now. Wouldn't it be nice to have it all ready to use when spring hits?
You'll be starting seeds soon. Don't forget to pick up some potting soil.
Check your tools and equipment.
Take inventory of your tool collection. Do you have what you need? Are your tools in useable condition? Purchase any tools that were misplaced or damaged last season. Do yearly tool maintenance such as oiling. Organize your tool inventory for efficiency.
Does your garden plan require heavy equipment you don't possess? Check rental prices so there are no surprises.
Make a supply list.
Do you have enough pots and other supplies for spring planting? Take inventory. Does your inventory match supplies needed? If not, this is a good time to stock up on essentials, before spring crowds deplete the store.
You can't plant without seeds. Have you ordered them? Have you sorted through your seed stock? Doing it now gives you time to re-order any your regular supplier is out of.
Are you making big changes in your garden?
Now's the time to map things out and finalize your plans. On warm days with no snow, pace out your garden perimeter. See that your paper plans match your actual garden location. Give thought to plant location and size. Are planned plants compatible?
If the ground's not too hard, test your soil now. Order any soil amendments you might need in the spring.
Chances are, I've missed something.
There may be things you're doing in the garden that I'm not. Every gardener has a personal wish list. Go over your own garden plans carefully. As you do, make a list of other things you can do right now to get a jump start on spring gardening. It may be mid-winter, but in most gardener's minds, spring is already here.