Summer’s right around the corner, and for gardeners around the country, that means one thing: It’s time to get prepared. Many people might be fooled by the lingering rainy days, but the season of enjoying all that hard work is here. For those who haven’t been prepping throughout the winter months, don’t worry; there’s plenty that can be done right now to make way for summer.

A beautiful garden starts with the right tools and knowledge. Slip on the gloves and Crocs, because it’s time to get reacquainted with the yard. Here are five easy ways to get the garden ready for the summer.

1. Start Deadheading

Of course, pinching off faded blooms and deadheading should be a continuous effort throughout the year. However, it’s never too late to start so that plants and blossoms get optimum nutrition. Deadheading doesn’t just stop the seeding process, it also can make a huge impact on the looks of a garden. Even little ones can help here, as long as they’re taught proper deadheading techniques for different plants.

2. Check for Bad Bugs

Some garden bugs are good, like spiders and ladybugs, but others wreak havoc on hard work. Keep an eye out for bad bugs like caterpillars, aphids and moths. Introducing other bugs that eat the pests is a great, natural way to take care of this problem. It’s also an affordable solution, since common species can be bought in bulk at pet stores.

3. Freshen Up the Soil

Trussing up the soil and fertilizing the garden is great to do in the springtime. There’s no dealing with freezing temperatures, and fresh soil doesn’t just provide aeration–it also looks great. This is another job the entire family can do together.

4. Build a Shed

For gardeners who don’t have a shed (or who have a really outdated one), it’s time to create a dream workspace. A shed can store tools, lawnmowers, soil, seeds and everything else necessary for a blooming good time. They’re also affordable and customizable.

5. Host a Planting Party

Invite friends over for cocktails in the garden at a planting party. Annuals can be planted right now, and it’s a great excuse to show off the new patio furniture. What better way to welcome summer?

A garden is more than curb appeal. It showcases a gardener’s personality. Make it glow with the right prep work, which is a lot more fun than people think.

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