Plan now for your spring garden

raised flower bed with soil and starter pots and hand emptying seeds from a seed bag into one of the pots with soil in it

There has rarely been a winter when we so badly needed to see (and feel) spring. Depending on where you live, this could mean bluer skies, warmer temperatures, time outside and…gardening! For those who live in a climate where spring doesn’t always mean it’s warm enough to garden outdoors, consider creating an indoor planting box for flowers, veggies, herbs or all of the above.

No matter where you live, there are things you can do now to be prepared for the moment Mother Nature lets you outside to play in the dirt.

  • Inventory your gardening supplies—Are your gardening gloves, shoes, tools, seed starting materials (pots, trays, etc. if you start your seedlings indoors) or anything else you use missing or in need of repair? Now is the time to take inventory, comparison shop and order replacements if necessary.

  • Decide what to plant and order your seeds—This is the perfect excuse to lose yourself in seed catalogs or visit garden supply websites. Making a list now avoids uncertainty later when you’re at the local nursery and what you’d decided on or had your heart set on isn’t available.

  • Decide where to plant—You don’t need to be an artist or purchase design software to draw a diagram of what you’d like to plant and where. A piece of paper and a sharpened pencil is all you need to start plotting your garden layout. For indoor gardening, start to scope out the perfect spot indoors to ensure your “crop” has proper lighting and won’t be in the way of everyday living.

  • Stock up on plant growth aids—You know you’ll need them, so why not go ahead and purchase your pesticides, fertilizers, weed barrier and plant ties so you’ll have them readily available?

  • Make up your plant markers—If you use plant markers for your garden, make them now so they’ll be at hand when the first seeds are planted. Bonus: This could be a good project to keep little hands busy when they can’t go outdoors.

  • Keep a garden idea journal—Write down ideas, save pictures and articles that inspire you throughout the year, and go through them when it’s time to start planning. Pinterest is a great solution to maintain an online idea journal.

  • Join an online gardening forum—Share your love of all things horticultural with gardeners from all around the world. You’ll get ideas for your garden (indoor or outdoor) and may be able to help rookie gardeners solve their own issues.

  • Choose a new garden ornament—Just because you can.

Time spent on planning during the cold, dreary days of winter can pay off in the verdant, colorful garden of your dreams come spring and summer. Take that time now—and don’t forget to share photos!