What a strange winter we’ve been having. Record high temperatures, that lull us into thinking that we can come out of hibernation, only to be sacked with a few more days of cold. Still plenty of time left in winter for a late snow storm!

As much as we might be ready to start digging in the dirt, it’s still to early to plant most plant varieties until we are certain that the risk of frost is behind us. That doesn’t mean you have to sit idle, though! You can still get outside, enjoy the warmer weather, and get a head start on prepping your flower and vegetable gardens so that they are ready to go when spring is finally here to stay.

Clean out the flower beds

It’s important to clean out any debris left over from the fall. You can compost any dead foliage, but be sure to discard weeds. They could be harboring weed seeds that may or may not survive the composting process. Rake out dead leaves, but don’t throw them away!

Enrich the soil

Use the dead leaves you rake out of your gardens as a nutrient rich soil amendment. Just work them directly into the soil (but get rid of any that look like they might be carrying a mold or fungus). You can also work in compost, grass clippings, or other all-natural sources of important nutrients to support grown plants.

Spread a fresh layer of mulch

Spreading fresh mulch will make our flowerbeds look fresh and well kept, while you are waiting for the perennials to pop up or to plan your annuals. Mulch will also help keep weeds to a minimum.

Plan your planting calendar.

This is a good task for a cold, rainy evening. Get out your garden catalogs, order your summer-blooming bulbs, and plan out what you want to plant, where, and when. Planning ahead will help you make the most of the spring planting season once it arrives. You can skip this step, though, if you are like me, and want to wander around the garden center picking whatever looks good at the time!

Weed & feed your lawn

Some lawn treatments work best if you start early. The “pre-emergent” weed treatments need to be applied before the weeds actually start growing. They won’t work if the weeds are already established in the yard. Spreading a good weed and feed will do double duty of nourishing your lawn as it it prepares for spring growth, while also delivering a death blow to weeds.

General clean up

You can take advantage of warmer weekends to wash your siding, paint your front door or mailbox, powerwash windows, and get rid of any outdoor clutter that has accumulated. Wash and treat your wood deck, wooden playsets, and fences. Clean up fallen tree limbs (rent a mulcher to create instant mulch for your garden!), so you don’t have to do it when you are ready to mow. Clean up any “doggy do” that might have accumulated in the backyard over winter. Inspect your driveway and plan for any repairs that may need to be made.

If you’ve got spring fever, there is a lot you can do to make sure your garden and yard looks its best until spring officially arrives.

We are always here to help! If you are unsure of your home’s value or if you are thinking about buying or selling, contact Jason at 703-298-7037 or SandersNoVA@gmail.com.