Planting season is just around the corner and it’s time to prep the beds that will soon hold spring crops. You can hardly make out the spinach in my beds through all the chickweed right now. As the winter rains let up for a couple weeks, the ground was nice and soft for one of my favorite winter chores: weeding.

Weeding is not everyone’s favorite garden pastime, but this is the perfect time of year to clear out pesky weeds. The earth is soft and gentle tugs are usually enough to remove even the deepest dap-rooted weeds. In beds like my spinach patch, clearing out weeds will give my plants a little more elbow room to get bigger.

The greenhouse will soon be getting turned over, so I focused some time there as well. The lettuces inside were moldy, weeds were everywhere, and the tatsoi has been bolting. It took me about an hour to clean it all up. We now have room to plant new crops and store some seedlings.

I’m not weeding every bed – just the ones I will be planting in soon. I’ll leave chickweed growing in empty beds, but remove the nastier weeds like quack grass. The chickweed will be easy to pull out in a month and it will protect the soil from the harder spring rains.

I get such satisfaction from this kind of work! Standing back after an hour shows such progress. It also seems to cure my gardening itch that I always get at this time of year, as I wait for seeds to arrive and wait for the last frost date to approach.

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