3 quick garden tips: plan ahead of the spring and make the most of February

It might seem like spring is far away, but it is just around the corner! In fact, we’re already ramping up prep for mid-March happenings like like Spring Clean, mulching and cut backs. With all of those spring-related to-do’ just around the corner and filling up March’s calendar, February becomes an important time to get things ready. On the top of my to-do list this month is ordering plants, prepping/cleaning equipment and buying tools and supplies. 

Here is what you can do right now to best position your outdoor space for the warmer months ahead:

Tip 1: Ordering plants

Freezing temps and snow on the ground might not seem like the time to be buying plants, but when working with wholesale nurseries, organizations like The Indy Cultural Trail and garden centers are already reserving the stock they want for the spring season. Once our plants are ordered, they remain onsite at the nursery and reserved until temperatures improve and the plants can be shipped. 

Tip 2: Prepping/cleaning up equipment

Due to the seasonality of our work, the ebb and flow of a shops and technicians capacity can change dramatically! You know that leaf blower, mower and weed whacker? The one you threw in the garage back in November and now need tuned? Well, February is a good time to get it in line before the first nice day of spring when everyone in town brings theirs in for a tune-up. This is also the second best time (best was back in November) to wipe down tools, give them a polish and add a touch of lubrication to moving parts.

Tip 3: Buying tools and supplies

While you are cleaning things up, take an inventory of what you have. Most tools in landscaping have long, useful lives so you shouldn’t need to replace much. Here at the Cultural Trail, I am purchasing tools that have been broken or lost over the past year. This year, I am purchasing tools for our additional summer interns and new Trail Maintenance Technician. I am also considering splurging on a leaf vacuum this year to help with all those leaves in the bioswales! Other supplies to consider would be fertilizer, weed killer, seeds and hoses. Also, now is the time to start seeking out your list of garden centers to visit once weather starts to break.

Get planning! Get ready! And get excited! It’s almost March which means its go time! 

-Ethan Hochstein, Director of Horticulture and Landscape