Tips For Your Spring Garden

Spring-Garden

It’s finally March and in theory spring is just around the corner. I know I’ve been thinking about spring gardening since January, but now it’s time to start ramping things up. Since I’m pregnant this year I’ll be scaling back a bit, but I still plan on filling out some of my perennial beds with additional perennials and adding some vegetables into those beds to create an edible landscape. So, whether you are planning a large vegetable garden or simply planting a few small pots here are a few tips that can really make your garden manageable and beautiful.

Start With Your Soil-Knowing your soil is very important when planning your garden. While there are many plants that aren’t too picky, you don’t want to fall in love with a plant that requires very precise soil chemistry just to put it in the ground and have it die. So, start your gardening journey by finding out what kind of soil you have and amending it for the plants that you want if necessary. You can usually buy a soil testing kit at your local garden store. Your future blueberries and hydrangeas will thank you for it!

Know Your Zone– If you don’t already know your USDA hardiness zone go look it up now before you start gardening. Even if you think you know your zone, if you haven’t checked it recently, you might want to look it up since the USDA made some changes a few years ago. Once you know your zone you can get an idea of what you can and cannot plant into your area and expect to thrive.

Plan Ahead– Even a wild looking cottage garden requires some planning ahead to ensure that you have a place for everything you want to plant. Planning becomes even more important if you are interested in companion planting. There are some really great computer apps out there that you can use to plan your garden layout and some can even be saved and stored from year to year and if you’re worried about rotating your vegetable planting. Of course drawing a layout and plan on a piece of paper with a pencil will work just fine if you don’t want to get too high tech.

Obtain Quality Plants and Seeds – Notice I said obtain, not buy. You don’t have to spend a fortune at the nursery or garden center to get quality plants and seeds. Friends or neighbors are often happy to provide starts or seeds of plants from their gardens that you like. I have several pass along plants that I’ve received from neighbors and several clumps of irises and daylilies in need of separating that I plan to give away this spring that were originally given to me by my mother. I think that one of the joys of gardening is sharing the experience with those around you.

If you do decide to purchase your seeds or plants be sure that seeds are good quality. If purchasing seeds that are organic or GMO free it is important then be sure that you have thoroughly researched the company that you plan to buy from to ensure that you are getting what you want. You would be surprised how many seemingly independent seed and plant companies are actually inter-related and may be related to a company you’d rather not do business with.  If you are buying plants in a garden store or nursery be sure plants look strong and healthy with no brown or sagging leaves.

Don’t Overdo It- I am totally guilty of this! There have been years where my front yard looked more like a jungle instead of a yard because of over ambitious gardening projects run amuck. When you’re planning out your projects make sure you really can handle them or that you can get the help you need to handle them before they get out of control.

Here’s to warm days ahead! Enjoy your spring gardening!

About chelsea

Chelsea is mama to 4 year old Will and partner to her oilfield man and best friend of 16 years, Jacob. She splits her time between the family’s camper in the North Dakota Oil Patch and a small urban homestead in Kentucky. Chelsea writes about the family’s camper adventures at www.talesofanoilfieldgypsy.blogspot.com. She is a batik artist and loves teaching others about the art of batik at www.beautyofbatik.com. She can also be found working on her other sites www.chelseaniehaus.com and www.urbanagricultureinfo.com. In her moments of spare time she enjoys knitting, sewing and gardening.

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