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3 Easy Gardening Projects to Tackle This Spring, Plus Helpful Programs for Gardeners

Posted on February 16, 2022 at 6:00 am

By Jane Baker

The days are getting longer, and my hibernating gardener’s soul is beginning to stir. Okay, that’s a bit overly dramatic. Still, this is the time of year when I press my face up to the cold windowpane and imagine the gray of winter giving way to the new buds of spring pushing up through the soil.

This imagining coincides with my annual contemplation of plans and projects for the growing season to come.

My garden does not produce food, so my planning is different than those who have visions of a bountiful vegetable garden.

A couple years ago, I removed the grass from the front yard to conserve water and planted perennials and trees that attract birds, bees, and butterflies. Since completing the landscaping, I’ve taken great pleasure in seeing my vision come to life and flourish.

You can read more about how my garden began as a Drought-tolerant yard project.

My three projects for the 2022 season are a bit more urban in nature: dividing perennials, adding a second rain barrel, and creating a container herb garden.

Dividing Perennials

Many of the perennials have flourished so well that they have matured to the point of needing to be divided.

When perennials outgrow their space, produce smaller blooms, or have a dead spot in the middle, the process of dividing the plant helps it grow better. Dividing requires digging up the plant, dividing it into two or more smaller plants, and replanting a smaller one. The best part is that you end up with extra plants to plant elsewhere in the garden and they’re free!

I plan to replant as many of the divides as possible because more plants means less room for weeds. I’m also happy to share some of the divides with friends and neighbors. The true joy of gardening is sharing the bounty.

Rain barrel with a water spigot filling up a watering can
Photo: Jane Baker

Adding a Rain Barrel

The next project for this year is adding a second rain barrel to my garden. Last year, installing a rain barrel was a successful weekend project.

The rain barrel collected enough rain from my roof to water all my containers, planters, and hanging baskets, even throughout the blistering heat dome we experienced.

Since 2009, the State of Washington Department of Ecology has allowed homeowners to collect water from home rooftops without a permit if the water is used on the property where it is collected and is not used for drinking water.

The Spokane Conservation District occasionally offers rain barrel workshops, and the City of Spokane offers an online Rain Barrel Resource Guide.

The Home Improvement Reference Center in our digital library offers information on rain barrels as well.

You can use any food-grade container for the barrel or even purchase a pretty one from a home improvement store. I purchased an old wine barrel at a local building supply store (available in limited supplies in spring) and a rain barrel kit online.

This year, I’ll repeat these steps and connect to the downspout on the other side of my house. Not only do rain barrels prevent water from pooling up around house foundations, but a second one in my garden will provide additional water to help support my third gardening project for the year.

Creating a Container Herb Garden

Last year a friend gave me some oregano from her container garden that was so fresh and delicious, I decided that my own herb garden is a must.

I searched “growing herbs in containers” in the Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center and found hundreds of articles. Currently, I’m in the process of deciding on pots, soils, and what combination of herbs to plant. I haven’t decided if I should start from seed or purchasing starts at a nursery. I’ll let you know how it goes in a future blog post.

What garden projects are you planning for this year? Comment below and share your ideas.

Seed Libraries

Did you know that you can borrow seeds from our five seed libraries?

With these seeds you can plant and grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers. At the end of the growing season, just let some go to seed, collect their seeds, and bring the seeds back to the library to share with others.

Upcoming Gardening Programs

If you’re like me and can’t wait to get out and play in the dirt, the library is presenting gardening programs presented by gardening enthusiasts and the Spokane Master Gardeners, a group of knowledgeable and helpful garden-loving volunteers and a great resource for information.

Each program except the weekly plant clinic requires registration, so be sure to sign up early!

Propagation from Seeds & Cuttings
For adults
SPOKANE VALLEY
Thursday, Mar 3, 5–6pm | REGISTER

NORTH SPOKANE
Tuesday, Mar 22, 6:30–7:30pm | REGISTER

Prepare Your Garden for Spring
For all ages
ONLINE
Tuesday, Mar 8, 6–7pm | REGISTER

Vegetable Gardening 101
For adults
MORAN PRAIRIE
Tuesday, Mar 29, 6:30–7:30pm | REGISTER

OTIS ORCHARDS
Wednesday, Apr 6, 6:30–7:30pm | REGISTER

Container Gardening
For adults
NORTH SPOKANE
Monday, Apr 18, 6:30–7:30pm | REGISTER

SPOKANE VALLEY
Saturday, Apr 23, 10–11am | REGISTER

ONLINE
Tuesday, Apr 26, 6:30–7:30pm | REGISTER

Master Gardeners Plant Clinic
CHENEY
1st & 3rd Fridays, Apr 1–Oct 21, 1–5pm | LEARN MORE

Jane Baker

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