The weather may not be conducive to working out in your yard but there are some landscape maintenance jobs that can be done inside. It may be more comfortable to do the work in the house, down in the basement, or even in the garage.
For those planning to replace containerized plants or expand their container gardens this season, now would be a good time to wash and sanitize/disinfect containers. Start by washing them in hot water and dish detergent. Old soil or potting mix may be hard and crusty. If so, use a brush or scouring pad to take it off.
Containers should be sanitized to disinfect them, especially if the previous occupant died. You don’t know what insects or diseases killed the plants that were growing in the container. The traditional disinfection solution is a 10 percent bleach solution. Another option is a three percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Both products are considered radical by gardeners, especially organic gardeners. They opt for a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water. This is my choice, too. Have you ever seen vinegar’s efficiency as a weed killer? Try it.
If you’ve considered raised or elevated beds, this would be a good time to begin shopping for them. You may be asking, “What’s the difference between raised and elevated beds?” Raised beds sit directly on the ground and can be any height that’s comfortable for you to work standing up or sitting down. Some even have a cap board you can sit on to work. They can be made of wood, metal, stone or even plastic. Elevated beds are planting beds on legs. They’re like window boxes on stilts. As with raised beds, elevated beds should be at the right height for you to work standing or sitting. Some even come with heavy duty casters, or you can easily install them yourself.
Raised or elevated beds can be made from scratch, assembled from kits or bought fully assembled ready to install. They’re sold by home centers, large garden centers or from online garden suppliers. If you already use these beds, check to see what maintenance may be needed before the next gardening season. Elevated beds can be taken into your garage or shed for maintenance or repair. Raised beds may be more difficult to move and require that these tasks be done outside on nice pre-spring days.
Last but not least, any tools that you didn’t clean and check for repairs last fall should be taken care of now before you need them. Being prepared for spring makes the season of rebirth more enjoyable. It’s also less stressful to have everything ready to go when the weather breaks.