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Transition from Winter to Spring

Prepping for the coming sun Rachel Kelly

Transition from Winter to Spring

During the cold winter days, when we’re not shoveling, of course, and awaiting the warmer season, there is a lot of time to think about spring—and our spring projects. As the seasons change from winter to spring, the ground begins to give way to early blooms, the days get longer, and gradually it becomes warmer and warmer. We unwrap ourselves from our cozy winter corners, put away the winter coats, do a little spring cleaning, and revamp our outdoor spaces. It goes without saying that we also have a bit of work to do to bring our yards back to working order. Here are a few ideas you may want to consider to make your home shine for all your warm-weather activities (barbecue time!).

Spring is the time to think about those things that need doing that you won’t have time for once the weather really gets nice. You might use this time to clean out the gutters, clean the inside of your boat out, sweep your porch of debris, and turn the dirt in your gardens. It’s also a good time to revamp your outdoor seating, bring out the umbrellas, scrub down the barbecue, and clear the concrete of any excess leaves and dirt. It wouldn’t hurt to pressure wash a bit to get off that winter mud. This season calls for off with the old and on with the new (to you)!

This early time just before true spring is also a great time to dream of projects that you and your family will enjoy in the summer, such as laying gravel to serve as a foundation for an outdoor fireplace. There’s so much to do and enjoy in the sun, that most projects need some early preparation if they’re going to get done in time for you to enjoy them. It’s a perfect time to put in that outdoor sauna you’ve been wanting to get! Saunas are a great addition to the home as it will serve your health all year long; the steam is beneficial any time of the year. But if steam isn’t your thing, it may be time to start clearing a space for that pool you’ve been dreaming of. Other ideas for projects include a greenhouse, additional living space, a porch roof, the addition of a smoker, an outdoor oven, a simple drink bar, an outdoor eating space, or a really nice set of hammocks. If you have kids, easy outdoor additions to the yard like slack lines and rope swings make for hours of pure fun.

If you are an avid gardener, just before spring is the time to feed your garden soil. Especially if you have raised garden beds, as these soil plots tend to miss out on the nutrients that naturally regenerate in the soil. Your yard and decorative flowers will benefit from the spreading of fertilizer, and the grass (which often gets trampled under the snow) will need additional grass seed. Your vegetable garden will probably need a lot of leaves and debris cleaned out and would benefit from a thin spread of rich compost and worms. For healthy plants of all types, consider aerating the yard and turning the garden dirt for air flow.

Early spring, as we all know, is also a perfect time to plant. One of the best things for the garden is planting a wide array of plants. Insects such as dragonflies, ladybugs and spiders (without webs) are attracted by the variety. They eat caterpillars and aphids, while leaving your veggies alone. You can encourage biodiversity by planting early seeds that thrive in times of year where the sun is just shy of true warmth. Examples include peas, hardy greens such as kale, spring greens and spinach. Some delicious fruits and veggies will have to overwinter a few seasons before you have a bountiful harvest, such as strawberries or asparagus, but are worth consideration for early spring planting. Later in the season, when the peas are near the end of their cycle, you can plant your green beans, squash, tomatoes, etc.; all the plants that are harvested summer through fall. Planting early in the garden allows for a longer growing season—as long as you know what to plant!

Once the barbecue is cleaned out, the yard is prepped for a bountiful planting season, and the early foundations are set for this year's summer adventure, it’s time to grab yourself a mug of tea and sit out on the porch to bask in the early sun (perhaps with a light sweater). After all that work, you deserve it.

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