If you’re like me, you have a hard time resisting the temptation to plant before the last hard-frost date. Jeannie Singer, plant professional and educator at Scottsdale Farms, shared these great ideas to help you delay planting and be ready to jump into it full speed ahead when the time is right.


  • Sharpen blades on spades
  • Clean tools: wipe with bleach or alcohol, then wash with soap & water
  • Oil hinges on shears and clippers–use WD – 40 or vegetable oil 
  • Make needed repairs–check hose for worn out washers and broken connectors, these are easy to repair
  • Replace worn out tools
  • Organize everything
  • Supplies: Take stock of your fertilizers & amendments,  mulch, garden supports, etc. Buy any items you need

Prepping Beds

  • Clean the beds, don’t move existing mulch, just gently remove debris, weeds & dispose of, don’t compost them 
  • Add fresh mulch 2”-3” maximum depth
  • Prune out old dead & damaged wood–sterilize your cutting tool with alcohol or 1 part bleach to 3 parts water) 
  • Prepare your soil and send soil test to County Extension Office.
  • Prune plants that bloom in summer now; leave the spring blooming plants alone 
  • Mark your perennials and divide them in the spring by digging wide and under the root…  cut cleanly with a spade.
  • Container Gardening: replace your soil annually in the spring because nutrients get washed away.  These need fertilizing more often as a result. Tip: Fill your large pots ⅓ to ½ full with mulch then top with your soil for your plants. This saves money. 
  • Use scalding hot water to kill weeds that are near your delicate plants to avoid contaminating them with a weed killer 

 We hope you have fun prepping for spring planting and dreaming of things to come!