Keeping your green thumb busy until planting time

Blain’s Farm & Fleet

When winter has dragged on, it can be hard to wait to plant your garden. But if you try digging in your garden too early, you may end up doing more damage than good. Luckily, Blain’s Farm & Fleet is here to help with a list of ideas to keep your green thumb busy until then. Below we have eight early spring lawn and garden projects for you to try.

8 Early Spring Lawn and Garden Projects

Do a Soil Test – Have a soil test done on your dirt, or even do one yourself! You can pick up soil collection bags for your samples at your local extension office or purchase a soil test kit at your local Blain’s Farm & Fleet. Keep in mind you may want to do multiple tests for your lawn soil and your garden soil as recommendations may vary whether you plan on growing flowers, vegetables or grass.

Make a Compost Heap or Bin – If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to get one started. Visit our How to Build a Compost Bin project for step by step instructions on how to turn your common household and garden waste into “black gold” for your plants.

Replace Your Mulch and Add Amendments – This is a good time to renew the mulch around all your plants before the new foliage fills out. Use the accumulated compost from the winter (yet another reason to build a compost bin if you don’t have one already) and spread it around all your plants–they’ll love you for it when the weather does finally warm up!


Prune Shrub Roses – When your roses start to bud, you can easily tell where there is dead wood that needs to be removed. When deciding where to prune your roses, look for a healthy bud that is pointing outward. Make your cut at a 45 degree angle about 1/4″ above the rose bud. If you see brown tissue in the center of the cane, go down a little further until you find healthy tissue. Read through our article for more tips on caring for roses.

Clean Out Pots and Containers – Remove old potting soil from your planters and dump it into your compost bin. Do not reuse the same soil mix as any diseases that were present last year will carry over. Scrub each container with powdered laundry detergent and water, then disinfect the pot with bleach and water. Rinse well and voila–your pots are disinfected and ready to plant when the weather permits.

Sharpen and Clean Garden Tools – Many gardeners expend twice the energy they need to when their garden tools aren’t kept sharpened. An electric grinder or a flat file are two great ways to get the job done. Start by putting the tool in a vise and make long firm strokes in one direction. When you’ve sharpened the entire length of the blade, turn the tool over and rub off any burrs. For more in-depth look, read through our sharpening methods guide.

Shop early to get the best selection of seeds and bulbs.

Start Planning Seeds – Get out your nursery catalogs and make sure to get your order in now for all those new perennials that you had your eye on when the catalogs first started arriving last January. Planning and dreaming what your garden will look like ensures you will get the most out of the crucial time of spring planting. You can also pick up bulbs and seeds right at your local Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

Keep a Garden Journal – This can be one of the most satisfying things you can do with your time in the long Winter months. Whether it is chores we need to remember to do when spring comes, or just where we put a new plant last fall…a garden journal is invaluable!