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While spring is the season when most of us begin thinking about our gardens, prepping your garden when winter thaws can help your plant life flourish when the weather finally warms. Below are five ways you can invest in your garden and reap the benefits down the line.

Start a compost bin. If you’ve always been interested in a compost bin, start one now so that you can reap healthy soil come summertime. Simply find a shady spot in your yard and clear a space. While you can purchase a compost bin at a garden center, don’t be afraid to build your own if you’re handy.

Order bulbs and seeds. Now is a great time to research what you’d like to plant later in the year. Once you’ve made a decision, place your order so that you can begin planting at just the right moment.

Tidy up beds. On a sunny afternoon, head outside and take a look at your garden beds. Remove any weeds that have sprung up, reshape borders, and clear any rocks or debris that may have migrated into your garden beds during winter weather.

Investigate and remove pests. Winter is the time when hibernating pests rest in your garden beds, so take to your soil or the crowns of your perennials and search for any aphids, snails or slugs—and remove them.

Maintain gates, borders and walls. If your gate, fence or border took a hit this past winter, give it a little TLC now so that it’s in good shape when spring arrives. In addition to replacing any rotting fence posts and rusty hinges, take the time to reframe stone walls that may have shifted due to winter weather.