Patience, Spring Gardeners

Signs of spring are all around us. The birds are chirping, crocus are popping, and Minnesotans are wearing shorts. Unusually early spring weather, pandemic blues, and the usual itch to get outside after a cold winter has us all wondering what we can do in our spring garden. Have patience, dear gardeners! It’s not quite time to start planting.


Though the weather is warming, it is not yet predictable. Nighttime temperatures are still swinging well below freezing and daytime temps are just as unstable. The plants, wildlife, and pollinators need a bit more time to wake up from their winter nap. When nighttime temps are consistently in the 50s, you can grab the shovel and shears!


Working cold, wet ground is not ideal for soil structure- it’s best to let soil warm up and dry out before digging.  Nobody wants to deal with poorly drained soil or chunky, inhospitable garden beds! Not to mention, seeds and new plantings appreciate a warmer place to settle in to.

Early Spring Garden Activities

It’s not all bad news! Here are some things you can do in your spring garden:

Walk your garden and note what plants have started to break dormancy. It’s incredibly enlightening to observe what plants are active in cooler weather versus warmer weather.  Examine buds on shrubs and trees. Getting to know your garden during different seasons is rewarding and educational!

Note areas that need more structure or vertical elements and think about what trees or shrubs might work. Measure. Sketch a garden map!

If you want to start seeds this year, now is the time! It’s a great way to get your hands in the dirt. Read our blog on seed starting for tips. 

Assess your mulch and decide where it needs to be topped up. A total depth of 2 to 4 inches of mulch is ideal!

Clean tools and perform maintenance on yard and garden equipment. Organize your garden shed if you have one.

Put the shovel down and get your pen out, gardeners. Now is the time for creativity and planning. The hard work will come soon enough!