Plan Now, Harvest Later

7 Mar

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Our days are getting warmer, and the sun is sticking around noticeably longer.  It’s that time of year that we all start itching to get our hands back in the soil.  It’s also a great time to start thinking about this year’s garden, and putting some thought into the garden now will help to bring healthier plants and higher yields in the growing season.  We have a few things that we keep in mind when deciding what and where to plant. 

Grow Things That You Like To Eat. 

Seems obvious, but I know I’m not alone in breaking this very simple rule.  Personally, I’m not a fan of bell peppers, but I have tried numerous times to grow them, only to harvest them and choke them down with a feeling of obligation.  I suppose I think that growing them at home will make them delicious, and while they are better than store-bought ones, a bell pepper is a bell pepper, and it boils down to being a waste of my garden space.  Grow things that you and your family love.

Try New Varieties.

Like tomatoes?  You’re in luck.  There are thousands of varieties of tomatoes that come in all kinds of colors and sizes, and you’ll find this to be the case with all kinds of veggies.  Keep your eyes out for rare and heirloom varieties of seeds you enjoy (we sell lots of these!), and you’ll end up with a unique and creative garden full of the vegetables you love.

Consider Last Year’s Garden.  

Unless you’ll be building an entirely new garden this year, it’s important to remember what last year’s garden looked like, and rotate this year’s garden accordingly.  Each plant utilizes different nutrients from the soil, so continued planting of the same crop in the same spot will leave your soil tired and depleted.  Additionally, various diseases and pests can overwinter in the soil and affect next year’s crops.  This is less likely to occur if you rotate your crop families. 

Veggies Love Company.

If you haven’t tried companion planting, give it a try this year.  Symbiotic relationships occur when certain crops are planted together.  It’s a great way to use space more efficiently, a natural way to control pests and can increase garden productivity. Think peas and radishes, spinach and strawberries, and tomatoes and basil. 

Flower Power. 

Don’t forget to incorporate flowers into your vegetable beds.  Flowers can attract beneficial insects that will aid in pollination, and feast on the unwanted insects.  They can help to restore nutrients back into the soil, keeping your veggies well fed.  Plus, they look beautiful!  A few of our favorites are marigolds, nasturtium and alyssum. 

Think Outside The Box.

While raised beds, rectangles and symmetry are great, you don’t have to have them in order to have a productive garden.  Mix all kinds of veggies in to your existing flowerbeds or landscaped yard space.  Gardens don’t need to be planted in rows!

Happy Garden Planning! 

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