This wet winter has been incredible for our soils. We got a lot of moisture for growing rich soils and beautiful gardens this spring. Now is the time to take advantage of it and start prepping the garden. (This post is more to remind me of what I need to get done, hope it helps you as well).
1. Plan your garden. What do you want to grow? How much space do you have to grow it? How much time do you have to maintain it? Start small with a few items – even in containers. Tomatoes are a common option. We have also had good luck with Squash, peppers, lettuce, and corn (depending on the amount of space you have to grow your garden). Here is a link to a garden planner that might help.
2. Order your seeds. For our garden, we like to use Heirloom seeds. They produce fruits and vegetables with exceptional taste, they are likely more nutritious, and are openly pollinated. Here is a list from Mother Earth News. We typically purchase our seeds from Mineral Virginia’s very own Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.
3. Repair any damaged raised beds, reinforce your trellis and fencing, clean up the trash in your yard, drainage ditches, and flower beds.
4. Get a soil test. Here is a link to the Virginia Cooperative Extension for more information on testing. A soil test will provide you with the information needed to have a happy, healthy soil for your garden.
5. Prune dead or damaged plants, vegetables plant skeletons, and dead foliage. Don’t use diseased plant material for your compost bin, but this is a good time of year to start composting.
6. Start your seeds inside. You can use recycled milk cartons, newspaper pots, or even a plastic cup. Be sure to provide drainage in the bottom for best results. Add soil and water, plant your seeds, and provide a nice sunny spot for them. Here is a good guide for getting started: Organic Gardening.