It’s been a long, cold winter but we’re finally turning a corner and the snow is starting to melt. (Hooray!!!) That also means the race is on to get garden planning in full swing before it’s time to begin planting.
While there’s still a foot or more of snow covering the ground, I’m busy figuring out what I want to plant for the upcoming season. I typically grow between 25-30 varieties from spring – summer with spring being the busiest season by far. Some of my spring favorites are french breakfast radishes, arugula, chives, sugar snap peas, tom thumb lettuce and broccoli rabe. This year, I’m still in the midst of figuring out what new varieties will join in the mix. I’ve tried dill, indigo radicchio, chioggia beets, musselburgh leeks, napoli carrots, forellenschluss lettuce, and french gray shallots, to name a few. I should have my 2015 garden picks selected in the next week or so ahead and will share the rundown when it’s ready. In the meantime, here are three things you should be doing now to make sure you’re garden-ready when it’s go-time:
1) Plot your garden. If you don’t already have a space, find one! Mine is a rectangular piece of land that’s about 20′ x 10′ large and fits five wooden raised beds (four 4×4 and one 2×7). It sits in a bright, southwestern corner of my property and gets at least 8 hours of sunshine a day – an important ingredient to a successful garden.
2) Select your seeds. Order your seeds now if you haven’t already. You’ll want them ready to go when it’s time to begin planting. I typically order both my spring and summer seeds all at once even though some of them may wait on deck to be planted for several more weeks. I use a binder with plastic inserts to store my seeds throughout the year. My favorite seed companies include Hudson Valley Seed Library, Baker Creek and Cook’s Garden. They all feature options to buy online and once you get on the catalog lists, you’ll start seeing them fill your mailbox in Jan/Feb, reminding you that spring is just around the corner.
3) Mark your calendar. Gardens are a labor of love and they require attention and proper planning. I need to map out a calendar of the weeks ahead to make sure I plant seeds at just the right time. Hudson Valley Seed Library has a great cheat sheet to help guide you this season – bookmark the page! Another great resource is to enter your ZIP code into this site – All Things Plants – that helps provide local, customized data.
Stay tuned for many more garden posts in the next few weeks. In the meantime, happy planning!