If you're already tired of winter and it's drab appearance, you might be able to cheer yourself up by planning ahead for spring landscaping and gardening. Getting a head start on these springtime projects can save you time and money, and of course, your property will enjoy a boost in its beautification. So, let's take a look at some things you can get to work considering today.

First off, if you're planning to have a garden this spring, you may want to go ahead and list what you intend to grow, and then check to see when is best to start planting those items. For example, tomatoes grown from seed need to be started in late March in order to be ready to plant in the ground in mid-May. And here's where the savings comes in: A typical packet of tomato seeds costs between $2.00 and $2.75, and could yield fifty plants. Individual plants ready to plant can cost that much each!

Your list of the contents of your planned garden can be broken down into individual planting projects based on the best time to plant. You can also make sure the soil where you're planting is right for the plant itself. Tomatoes, for example, like a pH of 6 to 6.8, just a bit acidic. Testing the soil is easy to do, and you can balance it with lime or sulfur to get the right pH. In addition, for tomatoes, you'll want to work mulch and other organic material into the tomato area.

You can also begin to buy and stockpile other gardening necessities, like fertilizers, ties, tomato cages, and nets to keep the birds out. Doing it now, you may be able to find some discounts. And garden centers are very likely to be less crowded that they will be come March!

The same planning can be very valuable if you're planning on adding trees, bushes and other non-garden plants to your landscape. These are generally more expensive investments, and making sure you have the right tools and the best timing for planting can prevent unsightly disasters or less-than-beautiful results.

For more information or guidance, the Master Gardeners of Bergen County website is a great resource for all of us.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy ndrwfgg/flickr.com