Yes, It’s that time of year again. Time to get into gardening mode. I truly do love this time of year, the chickadee’s are singing the spring “fee-bee”song, the coyote’s are howling, the days are getting longer, and I can smell it in the air. As for my gardening preparation, I can’t do anything outside yet as the ground is still quite frozen and there is plenty of cold and snow before spring “officially” starts.
Most veteran gardeners know most of these tips so I am gearing this post to the beginning organic gardener. After a little thought I have come up with a few tips to help you along with your organic garden during this time of year. Keep in mind that when you do these helpful little chores will depend on your last frost date and which zone you are in.
- If you haven’t ordered the seeds you want for your garden yet, by all means do it now. This is the busy time for seed dealers and getting those orders out and back to you, could take several weeks maybe even a month or two. I collect my own heirloom seeds each year and therefore don’t usually have to buy too many seeds. And I recommend you do the same.
- If you are in the same zone as I am (4 – 5) or farther south and you do your onions via seeds, now is the time to start them indoors. I have started mine already (about 4 days ago) I’m anxiously awaiting their arrival but they can take quite some time to germinate.
- Make sure you have your garden layout on paper, If you have an existing garden do your best to rotate your crops year to year, as this is essential for a healthy garden and usually prevents plant specific pests from gaining a foothold in one spot.
- If you do “cole crops” (cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, etc.) Transplants are usually started 2-3 weeks prior to garden time and can go in the garden about 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date. Same with lettuce, spinach and peas although I prefer to direct sow them in the garden around the first or second week in April (about 4 – 6 weeks before last frost)
- Have all your garden tools cleaned and available. I do this in the fall and it is a good habit to get in to. If your just starting out a quick list of some essential tools are, a trowel, spade,(round pointed shovel) square shovel, garden rake, hoe, and garden fork. Once you get into gardening this list will expand a little, but try to stick to the basics, and always buy quality tools. You know the deal “You get what you pay for.”
- For a little later on in the season have an irrigation and a composting plan ready to go. Irrigation is essential and composting should be foremost in your mind for this and future years of 100% organic fertilizer.
We always advocate organic gardening, Use no chemical fertilizers, no herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides. We do our best to not even use “organic” pesticides that are made of plant based materials because they too , kill indiscriminately.
If you are just starting with a garden I would recommend that you read everything you can on the subject. You will find many different ideas and theory’s on all types of, and ways how to do, organic gardening but, the more you read about it you will begin to see all the basics begin to “stick out like a sore thumb” that, in our opinion, is what you want to start with, and stick with,, the basics!
To start you off on the right track you can get a great beginners guide to organic gardening by clicking on the picture below.
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Peace and Prosperity to You this gardening season,
Rich @ NY Homesteader