Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-Get Ready for Spring Guide-pansy flowers

The ‘Get Ready for Spring’ Guide

If you're as eager to get back into the dirt as we are, you're probably itching to start prepping for spring. As it turns out, there is already so much you can start working on to prepare you and your garden for the warmer weather to come, so let's dig into our comprehensive 'get ready for spring' guide and get your garden primed for a flourishing growing season!


Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-Get Ready for Spring Guide-Racks of seedsIndoor Seed Starting Tips

Before the ground thaws, kickstart your garden by starting your seeds indoors. Starting your seeds early not only gives you a head start on the growing season but also allows you to nurture your delicate seedlings in a controlled environment, rewarding you with robust, healthy plants that will thrive anywhere in your garden. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Choose the right containers: Opt for biodegradable pots or trays that can be planted directly into the soil to minimize transplant shock.
  • Provide ample light: Position your seed trays near a sunny window or invest in grow lights to ensure your seedlings receive adequate light for healthy growth.
  • Maintain proper moisture: Keep your seeds' soil consistently moist but not waterlogged to prevent damping off and other fungal diseases.
  • Harden off seedlings: Before transplanting your seedlings outdoors, gradually acclimate them to outdoor conditions by exposing them to increasing amounts of sunlight and wind over the course of a week.

Essential Spring Prep

Now that your seedlings are on their way, it's time to turn our attention to some other essential spring prep tasks:

Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-Get Ready for Spring Guide-cleaning lawn mowerTool Cleaning

Properly maintained tools make gardening tasks easier and help prevent the spread of diseases between plants. Start by inspecting your gardening tools for signs of rust or damage. Clean them thoroughly with soap and water, then sharpen their blades and oil their metal parts to prevent rust.

Corm and Bulb Checks

Take inventory of your corms and bulbs, discarding any that show signs of rot or disease. Store healthy bulbs in a cool, dry place until it's time to plant them in the spring. Also, be sure to check for sprouting bulbs and corms, as these may need to be replanted or divided to encourage healthy growth.

Pruning Wisdom

Prune your deciduous trees and shrubs while they're still dormant to remove dead or diseased branches and shape the plant's structure. However, avoid pruning spring-flowering shrubs until after they've bloomed to prevent cutting off any flower buds.

Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-Get Ready for Spring Guide-bird eating off feederBird Feeding

February is National Bird Feeding Month here in Iowa, making it the perfect time to set up bird feeders in your Bettendorf garden! Provide a variety of birdseed, suet, and nectar to attract a diverse range of bird species, and keep feeders clean and filled regularly. To get your family even more involved with our local wildlife, check out some great local field trips with the Iowa City Bird Club along the Mississippi River. 

Preparing Containers and Pots for Spring Arrangements

Container gardening offers endless possibilities for adding beauty and color to your outdoor space this spring. Start by emptying last season's soil from your pots and containers and cleaning them with warm, soapy water to remove any lingering debris or pathogens before refilling them with fresh potting mix enriched with compost for optimal plant growth.


Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-Get Ready for Spring Guide-spring planterWhen it comes to selecting plants for your containers, there are several options that thrive in the cooler temperatures of Iowa's early spring. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Pansies: These cheerful flowers come in a variety of colors and tolerate cooler temperatures, making them perfect for early spring container displays.
  • Violas: Similar to pansies, violas offer a wide range of colors and patterns and are well-suited to early spring planting.
  • Primroses: With their vibrant blooms and low-growing habit, primroses add a pop of color to spring containers and thrive in partial shade.
  • Daffodils: Planting daffodil bulbs in the fall allows them to bloom in early spring, providing a burst of cheerful yellow flowers to your containers.
  • Tulips: Like daffodils, tulips planted in the fall will reward you with beautiful container blooms in early spring. With so many unique colors and shapes to choose from, you're almost certain to find a tulip variety that fits with your garden's unique aesthetics! 

Choose a variety of these early spring bloomers to create stunning arrangements that will brighten up your patio or balcony. With proper care, regular watering, and adequate drainage, your container garden will thrive and bring you and your guests immense joy throughout the spring season.

While this guide provides a pretty solid jumping-off point for your garden prep, if you're looking for more tips on getting ready for spring, come see us at Wallace's Garden Center today for top-notch spring gardening advice alongside Iowa's greatest selection of tools and planting supplies.

Let's get planting, Bettendorf! 

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