It’s time to get your garden — and yourself — ready for the growing season

Flowers bloom in the Rainbow Foods garden in Downtown Juneau on April 3, 2024. (Photo by Chloe Pleznac/KTOO)

With the spring equinox behind us and a stretch of sunny, warm days over the last few weeks, it feels like spring has arrived full-force in Juneau. Trees are budding, birds are singing, and things are starting to stir in the earth. 

Master Gardener Ed Buyarski says it’s time to start doing the garden prep that will set you up for success later in the season.

“It’s a time for cleanup in the garden, if we didn’t do cleanup last fall,” he said. “Getting all the old cabbage and broccoli plants out of there, and other slimy stuff. Removing slug habitat is a good start. Greenhouse clean up, tidying up. And, if folks are like me — we had a greenhouse collapse this winter — getting that new greenhouse on order or rebuilt.”

Buyarski also suggests that gardeners should get their own bodies ready for the physicality of the growing season. 

“One thing for me that I have found helpful as I have become rather mature is getting in ‘garden shape,” he said. “That’s doing some stretching exercises each day. Getting the shoulders exercised, stretching out the back and the legs and all of the rest of that.”

And as far as our recent weather? Buyarski says to pay attention to warmer days for opportunities to start the growing season off on a good foot.  

“A gradual warm up is good. That’s what we want. Waking up soil microorganisms if we’re mixing in some compost and some organic fertilizers and making sure to have your garden beds covered with clear plastic right now so the soil can warm up,” he said.. “We’re trying to encourage everything to grow better, whether the clear plastic is directly on the soil, or we have hoops with clear plastic over them, little mini greenhouses — all of that will help.”

If you have questions or ideas for future Garden Talk features, please email [email protected] or leave a message at (907) 463-6492.

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