Don’t Wait ’Til Spring: Start These Gardening Tasks After Daylight Savings Time

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This year, get an early start on the gardening season with these outdoor tasks that you can start as soon as daylight savings time arrives.

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Once daylight savings arrives, it feels like spring is just around the corner. Longer days and more sunshine make it hard to resist getting in the garden. Thankfully, you don’t have to. It’s possible to start many gardening projects as soon as the days begin to get longer, giving you ample time to enjoy some color by springtime.

Don’t Wait ’Til Spring: Start These Gardening Tasks After Daylight Savings Time

The original purpose of daylight savings time was to give farmers more time in their fields, so it’s only fitting that you utilize the extra time to work outdoors. Here are the projects you should prioritize after daylight savings time to give yourself the best garden going forward.

What to Plant

There are many planting projects you can begin as soon as the calendar turns toward spring. What’s possible for you will depend on your specific growing zone, so use these tips as guidance, and do your own research for your region.

Start Seeds Indoors

Early spring is the perfect time to start your seeds for the summer vegetable garden. Take advantage of the longer days by placing your seeds near a south-facing window to maximize sunlight exposure.

Focus on heat-tolerant, long-season producers like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, and squash. If you have room, consider starting salad greens indoors as well.

Don’t Wait ’Til Spring: Start These Gardening Tasks After Daylight Savings Time
Plant Cold-Tolerant Vegetables

There are plenty of cold-tolerant plants that do well outdoors in the early spring. The weeks after daylight savings might be the right time to get your arugula, asparagus, beans, beets, sweet peas, carrots, cucumbers, leeks, onions, radishes, and all matter of greens outdoors.

Since early spring weather is temperamental, you may need to cover them with plastic under low tunnels when the temperature drops to eliminate any shock on the coldest days.

Don’t Wait ’Til Spring: Start These Gardening Tasks After Daylight Savings Time
Get Herbs Established

Early spring weather won’t stress most herbs, so this is a good time to get them in the ground. Pay close attention to the planting instructions so you know what varieties do better when started indoors. Generally, cilantro, parsley, thyme, and rosemary are cold hardy enough for early season planting.

Don’t Wait ’Til Spring: Start These Gardening Tasks After Daylight Savings Time
Start Flowers

Nothing feels better than seeing the first flowers of spring. Get yours going early this year by planting seeds such as alyssum, cornflower, carnation, cosmos, marigold, petunias, hollyhock, impatiens, and dozens more. Some varieties, such as sweet pea, can be sown as early as Valentine’s Day.

Tend to Perennials

Spring makes a stellar time to plant perennials, as it allows them to get established before the stress of summer heat. If you want spring flowers the following year, plant some columbine, brachycome, armeria, true geraniums, and similar varieties.

Bulbing plants like irises, tulips, and daffodils tend to give the earliest blooms of the spring. These do best when planted in the fall, and the bulbs will split after every growing season to multiply the blooms in each flower bed.

Don’t Wait ’Til Spring: Start These Gardening Tasks After Daylight Savings Time
Plant Trees and Shrubs

Early spring makes for the optimal time to get new trees and shrubs in the ground. Planting bareroot varieties is best, as they will suffer the least transplant shock once they get in the ground. Pay close attention to the planting instructions for each type to ensure you prepare the soil appropriately beforehand.

Don’t Wait ’Til Spring: Start These Gardening Tasks After Daylight Savings Time
A Note on Soil Testing

Before planting a new space, it’s always wise to get a soil test. This will gauge your ground’s pH level and let you know what nutrients the growing space is deficient in. That way, you can amend the soil beforehand to give every plant the best chance of success.

It’s unnecessary to perform a soil test every year, but you’ll be well-served to do so at least once every three years.

Don’t Wait ’Til Spring: Start These Gardening Tasks After Daylight Savings Time
Early Spring Gardening Tasks

There’s a lot you can do in the early spring to set up your garden for success. Here are the seasonally appropriate tasks that will make a big difference for your space if you do them right.

Clean Up the Growing Space

Depending on how crazy the fall growing season went, your garden might have been left in disarray. No matter! Spring gives you ample opportunity to perform a reset and get things back in shape. This is the time to remove old plant stalks, rake the mulch back into beds, re-form garden trails, and more.

Don’t Wait ’Til Spring: Start These Gardening Tasks After Daylight Savings Time

This is also the time to look through your garden beds for signs of damage. Did any perennials get dug out by creatures or otherwise become damaged in the winter? Make an inventory of what needs to be replaced, so you can have a strategy for the spring.

Pay Attention to Water levels

Depending on where you live, late winter can be a wet time of year. Whether you’re dealing with melting snow or torrential rain showers, the odds are you’ll be dealing with soggy ground. Seeds planted too soon in the muck may rot before they germinate, so wait for dryer conditions before putting them in the ground.

You can also give your houseplants a boost by bringing them outdoors in the spring. They will love the opportunity to enjoy some fresh rainwater.

Don’t Wait ’Til Spring: Start These Gardening Tasks After Daylight Savings Time
Spruce Up Your Patio Space

One of the easiest ways to perk up your garden space this spring is to pull out your outdoor furniture from storage. The odds are good you’ll be using it on the first sunny day, so it’s smart to have it set up and ready to use.

Don’t Wait ’Til Spring: Start These Gardening Tasks After Daylight Savings Time

A little backyard décor can go a long way toward making your outdoor space feel like an extension of your home. Add an extra sense of spring to the space with planters filled with annuals to give you blooms earlier than you can grow them in your garden.

Get a Head Start on Gardening This Year

The wait is almost over — there’s plenty that you can do in your garden as soon as the days start to get longer. Take advantage of the longer days and balmier weather so you can begin enjoying homegrown flowers and vegetables in no time.