Monday, 11 April 2016

5 steps to preparing for spring planting

Well it's almost here!  And by almost, I mean more than a month away, but there is still much to be done before I am ready for the planting season.  Here's a list of things I've done, or have yet to do.  If you haven't started yet, its not too late!

1.  Start my seeds indoors

I've started a few seeds indoors - peppers, strawberries and tomatoes for this year.  I use a grow light, and started them in jiffy pellets (see post on how to start seeds indoors for more info).  I'd like to do broccoli and a few other fun ones, but I will have to wait for next year, since I'm transitioning to no till garden space, and won't be able to grow the majority of what I'd like until that is ready to go (more on this later)!

2.  Prepare the Garden Space

For me, this means spreading newspapers and shredded flax straw (or some other mulch, such as wood) over my backyard lawn.  Ideally I would have done this in the fall last year...but I was 8 months pregnant and running pretty low on enthusiasm and energy.  So I miss out on a lot of garden space this year :( I am using flax straw because my dad is a farmer, and has loads!  So money saver there.  I'm heading there this weekend, and hoping everything is in order so they can set me to work shredding straw, then I can bag it up and spread it about!

Now, if you don't want to do it my way, you can prepare your garden space by:
-building raised beds
-buying or finding containers (for container vegetable gardening)
(*note:  I've used canvas bags before, and had a lot of luck with these!  99cents from Superstore (loblaws), they are black, so attract sunlight and heat; fabric, so they drain nicely, and are very well aerated)
-tilling (*shudder*) your garden plot.  I'll have an opinion piece soon on why I no longer till.  My first garden in the ground was basically tilled (hand shovelled and turned my lawn), but I had a pretty sizeable host of problems, which will hopefully be less with this new method - I will keep you informed.

3.  Decide what to plant

My basic, go to plants:

-Bush beans (this year I also have purple pole beans that I got from our local seed library too)

-Corn (who doesn't love corn?)

-Sugar Snap Peas (My husband has forbade me from growing other varieties "Anything else is a waste of space." - these are just too good!)



And, like I said, I'll also be growing strawberries, tomatoes, and peppers, the last two will likely be in containers.  Also, I hope to start a small herb garden, primarily for indoors, for use through the winter.

4.  Set up a Compost Bin

Mhmm, plant food!  They will thank you for this!  So will the weeds until you can amend your soil over time...but still, the good stuff will thank you too :)

5.  Prepare your water supply

For me, that means fixing my hose (it's a weird mess of flexible pipe tube and copper, and other...stuff).  And finding/buying a rain barrel.  Which, for this year, will likely just be a basic barrel that I'll stick a bucket in to retrieve water from.  I'll get fancier later.

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