Garden Musings

Waiting for Spring: This Year’s Garden Projects

While I (im)patiently wait for spring, I’ve put together my list of 2019 garden and outside projects. I’d like to call this my honey-do list but I don’t think I can just drop this in the hubby’s lap and walk away. There’s too much to do and I have specific ideas about some of the projects—no surprise there!—so I definitely need to be involved. 

I’m hoping we can get started as soon as the weather allows. I’m also hoping we get through all of them. ?

  1. Fix the koi pond.
    Unfortunately, part of the koi pond wall fell in last year. It has been stable since then but we really need to fix it this spring. And, since it must be fixed, we’ve been discussing redoing the pond and surrounding area entirely. We’d like a smaller pond that is easier to maintain and includes built-in shelves for plants. Given that all of our big koi died between 2017 and 2018, we can certainly make this change without affecting the handful of babies that made it.

    Koi pond wall falling in

    Fix me! Any ideas?

    This is the largest project on the list because it involves digging out the current retaining wall and figuring out what to do instead. The hubs and I spend a lot of time outside, so we’re also discussing extending the deck and creating a dedicated fire pit as part of this project.

    At this point, I’m not sure if we’ll be doing this project or finding someone to help. Ideally, we’ll find someone to help but I’m pretty sure it will be costly so we’ll probably tackle this on our own. Check back in April to see what we’ve decided. Or leave a comment if you know someone who can help!
  2. Start an orchard!
    We already have two peach trees and two apples trees. They’ve been in the “nursery” area since we bought them and are definitely ready to be replanted. We also need to decide what else we’d like to grow and then we’re planning to buy the trees locally at the Growing Value Nursery

    To help the fruit trees flourish, I’m planning on building a fruit tree guild. This permaculture method builds a mini ecosystem around each tree that reduces maintenance, attracts beneficial insects, and helps maximize yields. It takes planning and upfront work but I’m excited to start implementing more permaculture methods in our garden.
  3. Show the raised beds some love.
    My raised beds are doing great but they’re also getting old and could use some maintenance, including doubling the height, laying down hardware cloth (over existing soil) before topping up beds with compost, worm castings, and lots of other lovely amendments.

    We need love!

    This is also the year all three beds get outfitted for hoops. I may not use all of them as hoop houses but I really want the option this fall. There are only three 4’x8′ beds so this is a relatively easy project.
  4. Create a better compost system.
    Right now, we have a compost head. And it works pretty well but I’d like to make it more orderly and easier to manage.

    I’d also like a dedicated area for leaf composting so I can make leaf mold.
  5. Create a butterfly garden and expand the wildflowers at the rental house.
    Pollinators needs our help and these are both relatively easy projects. I’m planning on purchasing a pre-planned garden from Prairie Nursery for the butterfly garden, which is about 70 square feet. The area for this garden is already defined and I’m going to sheet mulch it to get it ready for planting. 

    Help me!

    I also purchased the wildflower seeds last month so we just need to put down a few tarps to kill more grass and then sow the seeds.

Voila! There’s my list. Of course, it doesn’t include “smaller” projects like splitting/moving perennials, planting an edible berry hedge, installing landscape lighting, or figuring out what to do in the front of our house but at least it’s a start!


  1. Mary R Gilbert

    February 18, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    Will lime trees work in our climate?

    1. Sarah | Horseradish & Honey

      February 19, 2019 at 6:55 am

      Sure – in containers because they would need to be brought in to survive our winters. A dwarf lime tree could be a fun addition.

  2. Mary R Gilbert

    February 20, 2019 at 10:56 am

    I think that even “I” could try a dwarf lime tree…where would I get one?

Leave a Reply