By Kristina Phelan
Spring is upon us and the time to begin your garden preparations has arrived. No matter if your garden is small or large; all gardeners need to do the same things in order to harvest great produce. Follow these tips on how to prepare to have a successful gardening season.
Plan It Out
Seasoned gardeners will tell you that planning is probably the most important part of having a quality harvest. Research different plant varieties and really think about what you want to grow this year. If you have a not so green thumb, make sure you understand the maintenance of the plants before hand, this will most definitely help when it comes to keeping your garden bright and fruitful.
Know how much space each plant will take and make sure to draw out a map of your garden area. This will help you be more organized and will cut down on stress when you are planting seeds. Note areas of your garden that are wetter and use that information to plant varieties that don’t mind moist soil. Having a definite plan of where your plants will be is key to having a successful garden.
Many gardeners start to plant seedlings indoors during early spring in order to extend the growing season. Choose plants that need a little extra time in warmer soil and try planting seeds indoors.
You can find starter kits in stores but you can also use washed out yogurt cups or plastic disposable cups for small seedlings. You don’t need a lot of space or a lot of soil for these young starts. If you miss the window to start seedlings indoors, consider purchasing starts from a local supplier. This will help to make sure that these plants grow to full maturity and produce well before the summer is over.
Check Your Tools
Early spring is a great time to double check your tools to make sure that they are in proper working order. Does your shovel need a new handle? Did you forget that you broke your rake at the end of the harvest last year? Repairing or replacing these tools before you get started in the garden will help you have a more enjoyable time in the garden. Spring is also a great time to get tools as many stores have sales on tools that they know gardeners will need. Walk through the aisles of your local store and see if there are any new tools on the market that would make your gardening even easier.
Mix It Up
If you had a certain tomato variety do extremely well last year than by all means plant it again this year. But if you were not satisfied with a certain variety, or didn’t have any luck growing something, try choosing a different variety this year. If you don’t want to commit to one variety of tomatoes, consider choosing a few different varieties to see which one will do best in your garden. Some plants are very easy to grow, like cucumbers and squash, but be sure to only grow things that you know you will use or can sell. Depending on the kind of garden you choose to have, creating an herb garden indoors is also a fast way to prepare a hearty part of your garden. Nothing is worse than putting in a lot of time and effort into growing something that will just go to waste.
Spring is a time for a fresh outlook on the coming warmer months of the year. Gardening is a great way to relieve stress and should be enjoyable. Following these few tips to get ready for the coming gardening season will help to make sure that you have a prosperous garden this year.
Kristina Phelan is a freelance writer and her parenting column, Mama Bear Moxie, is printed in a few newspapers across the country. She lives on a farm in the Midwest with her husband, three kiddos, and too many animals.