The cold and dreary winter months are the perfect time to plan your upcoming spring garden. Spend time deciding what you will grow and how you will grow it during those days you can’t get outside. Plan now and when the weather warms up you can be ready to get a jump start on your garden. Try a few of these tips to help you have a great garden this year.
Decide What You Want to Plant
Make a list of what you want to plant in your garden this year. While you are writing your list, be sure to include planting dates for each item and whether you will be starting seeds or planting nursery-bought plants.
Stores usually begin setting up seed displays in late winter. Take time to browse local stores to see what they have available as you begin your planning. When you are ready, start buying the seeds and start your planning. If you have leftover seeds from previous years, drag them out and check them over. Wonder if your old vegetable seeds are still good? Check out these tips for figuring that out.
Use a Calendar
Make out a calendar so you can stay on track with your garden planning. If you plan to start some of your plants from seed, you will need to get those started early enough for the plants to be ready for your projected planting date.
When choosing planting dates, you will need to know your area’s last frost date. My region has been known to have cold snaps as late as early May, so I always shoot for garden planting dates between May 1 and May 15 to allow for that. Once you have decided upon planting date goals, mark them on your calendar.
Use the guides on seed packets to help you determine planting dates and seed starting dates for each item you wish to plant. Mark seed starting dates on your calendar.
Map It Out
Begin drawing maps and plans for your garden. Be sure to research companion planting as many garden veggies grow better planted with certain plants but not so much with others. Draw a good map of your planned garden and keep it with your calendar.
Prepare the Ground
Your garden spot will need some attention long before you put seeds or plants in the ground. Till your garden spot early on to allow weed seeds and grubs to be exposed and die in the winter cold. You may need to turn the ground one or two more times over the winter.
When it is time, start your seeds indoors. Seed starter kits can be purchased at local stores or you can create your own using eco-friendly and recycled items such as egg shells, egg cartons, plastic soda bottles or newspapers.