The beginning of the calendar year is the best time to start dreaming of your future garden space. It is amazing and uplifting to start dreaming of your future garden. To make sure you make those dreams come true it is beneficial to have some plans in place before the spring and summer come when life get a bit more busy. Here are a few ways to set yourself up for success in the upcoming growing season.
So who is ready for their best garden yet?
1) Determine Your Goals and What You Want to Grow in Your Space
What do you like to eat? What are your favourite flowers to have in a vase in your kitchen?
If you grow what you already like and enjoy it will be easier to put the effort in during the busy growing season. With that in mind it is
always very fun and exciting to experiment with new varieties but try to keep that minimum to ensure you have the space for what you want and need. This is a good time to draw a map of your garden space to remind yourself what space you will be working with.
2) Make a Plan to Succession Plant
Succession planting is essential to avoid having your whole garden bloom and produce vegetables all at once. Without succession planting when everything becomes ready to harvest it creates a busy, stressful, and unmanageable situation making it nearly impossible not to waste some of your crops. When you spread out when you plant your crops you ensure you will have a consistent supply of everything you love during the growing season.
So when you're looking when to start your crops keep this in mind. Something such as lettuce or sunflowers can be planted as often as every 2 weeks! But the varieties that take longer or produce multiple blooms can be successionally planted every month. Also during the summer do not be afraid to pull out a crop when its past its prime! You'll be making the necessary space to continue to harvest from your space. When you make the room for some more plants just make sure you add some compost and feed the soil.
3) Try Companion Planting
Have you heard? Vegetables love flowers, and flowers are just lovely! Planting flowers and herbs with your vegetable garden benefits your food crops in so many ways. I love having them around to attract the beneficial insects who help keep the pests at bay. It also makes any garden bed that much more bright, beautiful, and fragrant. Lisa Mason Ziegler wrote an amazing book on this topic! This post is not sponsored, I am just a big fan of the book. You can find it here in Canada and here in USA.
When I draw out my garden bed map with all the major vegetable crops I always throw some marigolds, basil, dill, nasturtiums, and other beautiful edibles to each bed. It looks amazing and the vegetables love it!
4) If You Start Your Seeds: Read Your Seed Packets
Your seed packets contain very helpful information on them! One piece of information to pay attention to is the days until maturity. This will give you a good idea when you need to start those seeds. Some seed companies even place instructions of how many weeks before your first frost to plant indoors. When starting seeds indoors keep in mind germination can take anywhere between 4-14 days. Add this information to your seed starting plan. If you buy all your plants at the nursery in the spring thats still great! I encourage you to try at least one vegetable or flower by seed, it is such a wonderful process.
5) Create A Calendar Of Important Dates
This is something that is essential for someone who has a busy schedule. Once you have the dates your seeds need to be started have one piece of paper per date. Make a table to include the variety, and how many seeds to start and leave a space for notes. The extra space for notes allows a space to mention if germination is either super fast, slow, or non-existent. This way you can reference and take that information into consideration for the following years plan! A great place to keep these sheets is on a clipboard where you will be starting all your seeds.
Pro Tip: Put your seed starting dates in you calendar on your phone or computer. This way you get reminders when to sow your seeds!
Enjoy the process, dream as big as you can dream! Start counting the days until your plants are in the ground! With the work you put in now you are bound to have a beautiful bounty all season long! Feel free to share your experience or anything that works in planning your season.
Stay safe and warm my friends,