A healthy, productive vegetable garden is a great source of food, exercise, and pride. As spring approaches, most gardeners start thinking about the coming season and making their plans for what to grow and how they’ll use it. In the usual busy cycle of planting, it can be easy to miss the big picture. So it can be good to have some reminders. When you do have the hours for those extra jobs, these five touch-ups can help your garden.

Heavy Cleanup

Good sanitation in the garden isn’t just a matter of looks. It’s also about garden health. Many diseases can overwinter on last year’s plants, so the early spring is a great time to get those remains out of the garden before they have a chance to infect your new produce. Gather old fruits, leaves, stems, and even roots and throw them in the garbage.

Facility Improvement

Lots of gardeners utilize a shed for tools, seeds, fertilizer, and so forth. Over time, busy gardeners can allow these structures and their adjacent sidewalks to decline. Early spring is a great time to do roof repair, painting, concrete lifting, and other major jobs so that you can make better use of your setup. Before the weather gets warmer, you can check out your set up and budget for any upcoming upgrades.

Set Up for Compost

The cheapest and best soil amendment you can get is compost. The only cost is your time and effort. Composting materials like food scraps, grass clippings, and even cardboard can yield dividends in your garden that even fertilizer can’t get you. Set up a sturdy compost bin this spring so that you can start using it right away. You can even get started before the weather gets warmer.

Improve Trellising

Certain crops need a little support to be productive. Over time, your poles, wires, and other materials may have begun to get a little rickety. If winter weather has been especially rough, it might be best to downright replace the trellising setup you have been using. The early spring is a great time to make upgrades to those crumbling setups to make sure you have an easy time with production and harvest this year.

Weed Control

Your biggest enemy all summer is weeds. Some work in the spring can go a long way toward keeping these nutrient-sucking pests at bay. Pull up as many weeds as possible from your cover crop, then till the garden. Watch for other weeds to appear, then give them the same unceremonious disposal. Start early and keep it up as part of your daily routine. Doing so will make it easier to weed and is the best prevention against garden damage.

Keeping a garden healthy and successful requires a lot of time and attention. Just keeping the weeds at bay and the ripe vegetables harvested can use up a lot of your available daylight. That’s why jobs like the ones we’ve described are best handled ahead of the growing season, before you can really get started with plants. Make a plan and budget and you will be prepared for the spring.