Kick up your heels, the sun is finally shining! Get out and smell the flowers and dig in the earth and grow your dinner and your breakfast too! It’s easy to grow your own organic food and beat the high prices, for free. You can also grow beautiful flowers. Spring is the time to start.
The first step to growing your garden is to find a good spot with at least 6 hours of direct sun. Next, visualize your dream garden and imagine all your favorite vegetables. Then make a garden plan. Finally prepare your garden beds and plant your garden!
So what goes into a garden plan? What do you like to eat most and what will grow well in your location? Every good plan will consist of:
* A list of your favorite garden vegetables and flowers
* Garden bed layout: type, shape and placement of your garden beds and perennial plants
* First and last frost dates
* Compost Area
* Water system
* Optional – green house or cold frame
All these elements will interrelate and enhance each other, creating a fine-looking garden. Draw out a plan and order your seeds! Although gardening is flexible and always growing, having a solid plan in place first will help you avoid frustration and give you a good start. You can draw out your plans by hand or use some of the new on-line garden planning programs. I have been having fun working with an on-line planner this season for the first time. I have always done my garden planning on paper and there was always lots of erasing, changes and rough drafts. Making garden plans used to be an unpleasant and messy chore for me. Now I am having fun using an on-line gardening tool for making my garden plan, and changing it and playing around as much as I want in just seconds. Once you have a good plan and a list of all your favorite veggies’ it is time to order your seeds or buy some from your local nursery or feed store.
Prepare your garden beds:
There are many options for making garden beds, some include: raised beds, square-foot gardening, or old-fashioned hand or tiller dug garden beds. If you have a large garden, old fashioned garden beds are probably the best. If you have a small area, raised beds or square-foot gardening will be the most productive.
Start small if this is your first garden. Be sensible and don’t get overwhelmed. It is better to have a beautifully maintained garden that you can take care of than a big weed patch that is so overwhelming that you dread going in your garden. You can get an amazing amount of great food out of a small garden.
Compost is crucial. Don’t delay, start your compost today! Turn your garbage into gold.
No matter how big your garden is and where you put it, you will need to feed your soil. There is nothing that compares with rich compost for growing productive gardens. Always grow organic! For your health and the health of the planet, it just doesn’t make sense and costs more to use chemical fertilizers, herbicides (weed control) or pesticides. I have been growing my food organically for over 30 years and have beautiful, productive gardens! It is important to know what nutrients your soil is rich in and what nutrients you will need to add to have a productive garden. Test your soil and add the required organic nutrients. Let the soil settle and then plant seeds and starts and you will soon be eating some of the best food you have ever tasted and will probably have enough for all of your friends too.
I hope you are inspired to plant your organic garden today. Here’s to a great garden season!
Farmer Dave Rose author and gardener: http://www.family-gardens.com/garden-planning.html