Preparing Your Garden for Planting

The time has come!  Have you been dreaming about your garden all winter?  Although it is not time to plant, there are a few garden tasks that can get you outside enjoying fresh air and sunshine. By putting in a few hours of work early on in the season, you will drastically decrease the amount of time required to maintain your garden and increase the time you have to sit with a drink enjoying it.  Complete these five errands and your yard will be ready for all the endeavors you have planned to create your summer oasis.

  1. Yard Debris – Through the fall and winter yard debris tends to build up.  Fall leaves, branches, and pinecones need to be gathered.  It is also the time to prune any dead branches or perennials to make way for new growth.  If you are pruning trees or shrubs, be sure to wait until after your flowering shrubs have bloomed before pruning.  Also, take care when raking in the garden.  Rake lightly with a fan rake to avoid disrupting established perennials and garden bulbs.
  2. Lawn – To promote a healthy green lawn, rake out the dead thatch that is covering new growth.  It is imperative that you do this before re-seeding and fertilizing, as the thatch will prevent anything that you add from getting to where you want it.
  3. Healthy Soil = Healthy Garden – Adding a nutrient rich 3-Way Mix or Manure to your garden will require a little work, but you will reap the long-term benefits throughout the season.  By adding new soil around the base of plants and mixing it into the existing soil you will decrease the need to fertilize with non-organic products, keep your plants healthy, and create a desirable habitat for earthworms.  Earthworms are always good to have in the yard because they help aerate the soil.  If you are living in the Georgetown area, it wouldn’t hurt to mix in a bag or two of peat or sand to break up your clay soil.
  4. Weeding – I know… I know…. We all hate to weed!  By weeding early in the season when undesirable garden guests are just getting settled, you will be ahead of the game.  This will clean up your beds and make room for your desired annuals and perennials.  To assist in decreasing the need for future weeding cover beds with mulch or bark chips.  This additional layer to your bed will help keep the moisture in and the weeds out.
  5. Brag – Brag to your neighbors and friends that you have your yard is ready and waiting for the warm weather.

Remember, although warm spring days may tantalize and temp you to get out and plant we still run the risk of frost well into May.  We wouldn’t want you to put money and effort into your garden, only to have it spoiled by a touch of frost.

Get Your Garden Ready……. We Can’t Wait to See You!!!!

 

Thinking Spring!

It is coming!  The signs of winter are slowly vanishing with the rain.  Although backyards are looking brown and void of life, the time for new growth is fast approaching.  It is this time of year when you have such high hopes and plans for the spring and summer.  Visions of expanding perennial beds or of increasing the yield of backyard vegetable crops are running through my mind.  Whatever your goals are for this year I have some thoughts to share that may make you go hmmmmm…

It is making a comeback… the backyard vegetable patch.  And the backyard vegetable patch is keeping up with the times, forever evolving with modern living.  It is wonderful if you have a wide-open space to plant a plentiful array of vegetables and herbs, however, it is not a necessity.

Here are a few ideas of early season crops for your area.  All three of these crops can be planted in the same bed.  Try not to plant taller crops around them, for this will block out vital sunlight.

Onions

Raw or cooked, onions are one of the most used vegetables to add flavor to dishes around the world.  This cool weather crop can be planted early in the season (late April – Early May depending on weather and zoning).  Onions are easily grown if started from seedlings. Plant them in a sunny location with loose, fertile, well-drained soil.  If you are still on the fence, know that pests and disease rarely bother onions and some even believe that they help deter pests from other nearby plants.  For under $2 you can start dozens of low maintenance, easy to store onions.

Beets

Another cool weather crop to get you going is the Beet.  Beets can be used fresh or preserved.  They are easy to grow in a sunny spot in soil rich with organic matter.  This vegetable offers endless health benefits!  The Beet is rich in anti-carcinogens, carotenoids, and folic acid.

Lettuce

Leaf by leaf or by the head, lettuce is a low maintenance easy to grow cool crop.  This crop requires ample amounts of water and sunny conditions.  Its low caloric value; calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and folic acid make it a healthy addition to any meal.  With so many varieties offering an assortment of flavours, textures, and colours, your salads will surely impress!!

Other cool weather crops are also available for this area.  Be sure, no matter what you are planting, to follow the specific variety instructions located on the growing tag. Be sure to visit the Tips Section on the website so see how to prepare your garden for planting.

More and more gardeners of all kinds are dabbling in edible gardens.  Whether it is a field, a 4’ by 4’ raised vegetable bed, a container garden, or a tiered window box display you feel a sense of accomplishment and excitement to harvest and make use of crops you have grown.