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Ways to get your garden ready for SPRING

By Summer Lane

Photo: Deposit

My favorite time of the year is when the world stands on the cusp of Spring. I love when the grass begins to turn green and the blossoms start to burst open, brilliantly colored under a scrubbed-clean-by-rain blue sky. There’s nothing quite like it.

Although seasonal allergies are no fun, I still absolutely adore how the world slowly warms up, how green buds burst through the soil, and how fun it is to snuggle with my barn cats’ multiple litters of tiny, clumsy kittens nestled away in alcoves around the yard.

Perhaps you’re someone who can identify with what I’m about to say: I don’t feel like I have time for hobbies! I used to crochet, bake, and go on morning runs in the park. These days, I work so much that I simply feel too overwhelmed and overstimulated to take on any more projects.

So, I have found that gardening has become my new hobby, and it’s one that has brought me closer together with my daughter! It’s relaxing, it soothes my mind and heart, and it gets me outside and into the sunshine.

To prep my garden for the growing season, I’ve taken a few easy steps that you can apply to your background garden, no matter how big or how small. I keep both laying ducks and chickens. My ducks are allowed to free-range in my garden, along with one special chicken. So, our garden setup may not be as straight-laced as some – but we love it that way!

Clean up your garden beds

I use raised garden beds, and I recommend prepping them every year by adding in fresh soil and sand. If you keep chickens, I also HIGHLY recommend layering chicken manure into your garden beds. I did this last year and my plants grew SO much better!

This year, I’m doing the same thing again. I also pulled every weed that had sprung up in some of my dormant beds over the winter. That will be a consistent battle all year, I’m afraid!

Set up a drip line or emitters on a timer

There is nothing more convenient than having your garden set up on a drip timer. My garden is linked directly to our back well (country life!), which feeds into a drip line and subsequent emitters for each garden bed. This has saved my garden so many times. If I’m gone for the day on a hot summer afternoon, my garden will get watered on a timer even if I’m gone. LIFE SAVER!

Plant a pollinator garden

Drawing pollinators to your garden is the key to success in growing fruits and vegetables! Grab a pollinator seed mix from your local nursery or gardening store and get to work! This year, my daughter and I are setting up a garden bed JUST for flowers so that we can draw more bees and butterflies to our garden. Choose a variety of bright blooms – your tomatoes and squash will thank you for it!

Don’t be afraid to tent your veggies

I struggle with keeping my cats (and other countryside critters) out of my garden. One solution is to buy garden nets to drape over the beds – this keeps critters out at night when you can’t be there to keep an eye on things. Another solution is to temporarily “hot house” your plants with a cover until they’re strong enough to withstand kitty paws.

You can also purchase animal deterrents to sprinkle across your soil – I personally think Uncle Ian’s Dog & Cat Repellent is great (and it doesn’t harm the animals) if you’re having an issue with small critters. There are other brands that work just as well, too. Remember – you’ll just have to reapply at least every 48 hours (at the minimum).

Plan to plant as soon as possible

You really need to get your veggies in the ground as SOON as possible! If you want a delicious bounty this summer and fall, you need to get your seeds in the ground as soon as you can. We’re planting next week, now that the big threat of freezing weather is off the table (I will be watching closely and tenting my plants at night otherwise). Starting from seeds is cheaper, but don’t be ashamed if you want to start with some purchased plants from the store, too! It will give you a bit of a head start heading into the harvest season. I tend to do that with all of my herbs and, typically, my cherry tomatoes.

Make sure you have a shady spot for your sensitive produce

I like to make sure my tender greens (lettuces) and herbs have plenty of shade. I don’t want them to get sunburned and scorched by the searing summer sun (I learned the hard way!). The same goes for your peppers, like jalapenos and bell peppers. They will grow better with a little bit of shade, otherwise, you can expect them to be sunburned.

If you keep chickens or any kind of poultry, you should consider growing an abundance of fresh herbs for them, too! They love snacking on tasty fresh herbs. My chickens especially enjoy peppermint, cilantro, and basil. They also ADORE yellow squash split right down the middle. Fun fact: my duckies are wonderful pest control in the garden. They hunt for bugs all day and nibble them away and keep my garden weeds trimmed down with their daily grazing, nibbling, and sifting!

Be prepared to be consistent

To keep your garden trim and functional, you need to be IN IT every day! Pull weeds, trim your plants, pick your produce, and make sure everything is getting enough water. Don’t forget pest control, either. Keep your plants treated (whether you choose organic treatments or chemical!) and protected against damaging bugs like grasshoppers and tomato worms (yuck!). Don’t ignore aphids, either. I did that once and it was quite a problem to have to fix it once it had gotten out of control. This year, I’m determined to be more proactive than ever and keep my garden in tip-top shape!


Here are some easy, fun gardening tips for planning your 2024 garden below in this YouTube video!




The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team. This specific article was written by Summer Lane, and may not be reproduced, except to quote for reviews or interviews, without the express permission of the author. 



Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 30 books, including the hit Collapse Series. She is an experienced journalist and columnist who reports on news within the U.S. and abroad. She is the Associate Editor for Right Side Broadcasting Network. Additionally, she owns Write Revolution News, where she provides a rapid-fire feed of the nation’s most important America First news and events.

Summer is also a mom and wife who enjoys rural country living, herding cats and ducks, and reading fiction. She is passionate about writing on women’s issues, parenting, and politics from a theologically-grounded perspective that points readers to the good news of the gospel.

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