Gardening Spring To-Do List

  The Quebecois Spring Gardening To-Do List

While the spring of 2012 was all sunshine and 25 °C weather, this year’s warm weather seems to be arriving fashionably late. For those who do their own yard work, you’ll have to have your ducks in a row if you want to enjoy all of the benefits your garden has to offer.

 

Here’s a handy checklist to ease your passage from the muddy, cooler beginning of spring to the balmy, sunnier summer weather. We’ve also added a printable PDF checklist at the end of the article for those of you who’d like to get started as soon as possible.

 

 

Luckily for those who haven’t gotten around to starting off their edibles yet, this delayed weather means there’s still a bit of leeway when it comes to seeding. But don’t wait too long!

Germinate (April 4 – 14) 

Germinating seeds takes approximately 1-2 weeks, depending on the type of seed and the temperature, so start these seeds now:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce/Leeks
  • Mustard
  • Spinach
  • Tomato

Germinate (April 14 – 28)

As soon as the ground is thawed for a few consecutive days, seed the following :

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cuccumbers
  • Fresh herbs
  • Gourds
  • Annual flowers
  • Lettuce/Leeks
  • Mustard
  • Spinach

When there is no longer frost on the ground, sow the following :

  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Broadbeans
  • Candytuft
  • Cornflowers
  • Onions
  • Pansies
  • Peas
  • Poppies
  • Turnips
  • Radishes
  • Snapdragons
Sow in the garden (April 28 – May 11)
While you would usually begin around this time of year, ensure that there is only the very gentlest frost on the ground before sowing these directly into the garden:
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Potato eyes
  • Parsley
  • Radishes
  • Snapdragons
  • Violas

 

 Transplanting May 11 – May 30      

When you’re sure there will be no more frost, transplant your hardened plants (you can harden plants by bringing them outside while still potted to get them accustomed to the weather) : 

  • Tomato
  • Melon
  • Squash

Keep an ear out for the weather network and if you hear frost or storm warnings, make sure you cover your fragile crops with a sheet or some plant covers.

The weather is finally clement enough for you to begin some serious maintenance in your yard. Getting it all out of the way now means you’ll have more time to enjoy the warmer, sunnier days down the road.

 Check Your Deck

Clean stone work and asphalt paths and check for frost heaves to repair. Give your patio a quick look-over for signs of loose planks, areas to re-paint or re-varnish or cracks.

Clean Beds

While you wait for the ground to thaw, and your seeds to germinate, use this time to clean your flower and plant beds.
  • Remove all fall and winter debris;
  • Use compost produced in the winter to nourish the soil;
  • If need be, replace the edging to make everything tidy;
  • Rake the lawn to get rid of thatching
    • Bonus: if you moisten the thatching and keep it contained, you’ll have compost for next year

Gutter Clutter

Clean out the old leaves and debris that have accumulated in eaves-troughs and rain gutters. Bonus eco-points for adding the biodegradable matter to your compost and installing a rain-barrel.

Mending Fences

Hose off your fences and check for loose pieces or signs of wear and tear to mend. While you’re at it, you may as well give the outer walls of your home a quick spray-down to freshen it up.

Mower Power

If you use a mower, make sure the blades are sharpened and make sure you have fuel for it. Do a quick maintenance check on your tools (and maybe get around to giving the garage a good spring cleaning if you’re so inclined).

Furnish Your Moments of Relaxation

Give your patio furniture a good cleaning, shop for extra needed pieces and clean off that grill (don’t forget the propane)… It’s finally time to reward yourself with a nice al fresco meal with family and friends to show off all your hard work!

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Feeling inspired to whip your yard back into shape? You can print or download our PDF checklists below by clicking on the image relating to the tasks you’re interested in accomplishing.

 

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What’s your favourite springtime task? Is there a spring-time yard maintenance task you dread having to do every year? Let us know in the comments (who knows, we may have some handy tips and tricks to help you get it over faster…).

 

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