Planting could be considered to be the first step of putting up. Now that winter is halfway through, are you looking forward to your spring garden? Now is a good time to start making plans for planting, and eventually putting up!
Here are a few tips towards a glorious garden in 2015:
- Try to figure out how much of your favorite veggie varieties you and family will eat fresh from your garden. You may not be able to come up with a very precise quantity, but start by recalling how much you consumed in past years and then add to that the types and amounts of food you want to preserve. For example, if your family didn’t eat all the cabbage you grew last year then maybe you don’t need to plant so much…or maybe you’ll stick with it and try fermenting sauerkraut or canning a relish with cabbage in it.
- Measure your space and lay out the garden on paper. Hopefully you did this last year too, so that you can review your records and rotate crops each year to reduce disease and insects. If you are starting a new garden plot, be sure to consider the basic needs of your plants – most vegetables need eight or more hours of full sun (leaf crops like spinach and broccoli require less), and a nearby water supply will make your watering efforts far easier.
- Buy seeds from a reputable local seller, and buy the best ones – cheaper seeds may have lower germination rates and may not be adapted to your area. UGA Extension has many more tips about Starting Plants From Seed for the Home Gardener.
- If you decide buy transplants later, then buy those from a reputable local seller as well. Inspect the plants carefully for insects and disease, leaving any such signs on the shelf.
- Go ahead and contact your local Cooperative Extension office and ask how to take a soil sample to figure out which amendments you’ll need to make once those starts are ready to go in the ground. Good soil is like a healthy diet – your plants need it to survive and thrive.
Let us know what you plan to put up in 2015 by commenting on this post, and we will try to support you with specific recommendations throughout the year.
This post was inspired and adapted from Wayne McLaurin’s article, Spring Gardening: Getting Ready.