10 Ideas to Get Your Outdoor Garden Space Ready for Spring
Spring is such an exciting time in the garden. Yet, with it, it brings getting outdoors to see the damage in our gardens from the winter. Mild or otherwise, it can be daunting to walk about your backyard or outdoor classroom and write a checklist of “to do’s”. I did this today and boy oh boy my “to do” list is long. To deal with my overwhelm, I put together 10 ideas to jump-start and get ready for Spring. This made it easy to include my family and in all outdoor Spring clean-up projects. I am now tickled with possibilities for my Backyard Teaching Garden and can’t wait to dig in. Remember! Take baby steps and include the kids in all these projects.
- Clean out one garden bed at a time vs. looking at the entire outdoor space. This is a trick my mother taught me. She always tells me to take baby steps in the garden. This strategy beats overwhelm. Now I catch myself more willing to go out and tackle one project rather than procrastinating while thinking about the entire outdoor space.
- Create a Welcome Garden. First impressions are important. Last Spring I created a Welcome garden under a tree near the entrance of our house. Due to the huge root system, I can’t plant anything there. Instead, I added a variety of terra cotta pots in different sizes. Whoola! The addition of flowers is a wonderful invitation to any visitor.
- Add a Compost Zone. The beauty of the Spring clean up is the fact that you can put all the organic matter into a huge compost pile. Last year my teenage son and I made a Compost Kitchen with old pallets. It is simple and allows me to easily turn the soil to make rich soil we call “black magic”. It has come in very handy during this year’s Spring clean up.
- Edge your Gardens. If you have gardens in your backyard or outdoor classroom it is important to define the outdoor learning spaces. One easy way to do this is by creating a simple edge with a shovel.
- Weed your Gardens and turn the soil. The weeds have been enjoying your gardens throughout the winter. Now it’s time to spruce up your backyard or outdoor classroom and get started with pulling them up. Kids love this task. You can get them involved with creating “Weed Races.”
- Paint your Outdoor Classroom furniture. Yikes. This year I will be spray painting all my outdoor furniture again. A fresh coat of paint or spray paint does wonders. It is also fun to think about painting outdoor furniture with bright colors. It is an easy way to add color and originality to your outdoor space.
- Think about your Paths. Do the paths in your backyard or outdoor classroom invite wonder? Are there any paths that need attention? Do you need to re-do any of them? Think about accessibility.
- Fill your Bird Feeders and add new Bird Houses. Ahhh….this can be done any time of year. For me, it is especially fun to clean up my Bird Sanctuary and add some new elements like birdbaths, birdhouses, and new bird feeders. There many DIY activities to do in this area of the garden.
- Do you have a Rain Barrel? Rain barrels are a wonderful addition to any backyard and/or outdoor classroom. I have a rain barrel; however, do not have it hooked up yet. This is on my “to do” list! Stay tuned!
- Plan a new Garden. It is always good to add new learning stations for your Outdoor Classroom. Invite your child(ren) to this process and see what they come up with. You may be very surprised. I will be adding a Math Garden this year. I can’t wait!
Remember to enjoy every minute and take a moment to cherish the magic of Spring. Now I want to hear from you? What signs of Spring have you seen?
Do you want to learn more about how to design a one-of-a-kind Outdoor Classroom? Check out the Teaching in the Dirt: Designing Outdoor Classrooms e-Course.