Gardening- Spring Planning for Spring Planting

One of my favorite times of year is spring because it means it’s time to start the garden. From my earliest memory my family had a garden ever year.  Over the past few years I have come to truly realize the benefits of gardening: better quality food source, saves money, freeze or preserve for winter, healthy activity, and pure enjoyment of wathcing the benefits of your hard work.  My family always made traditional gardens.  Last year we dicided to try something new- raised bed gardens. Raised beds require a little less work than traditional gardenting so they are good for people with a busy schedule. They also require less room and produce more.  We did pretty good our first year but I’m looking forward to making this years garden better.  Over the next couple of months I will be blogging about gardeining and sharing tips.  I hope you find it beneficial.

As spring approaches, its time to start planning your garden.  What kind of garden do you want, traditional or raised bed?  If you want raised beds you will need to build them.  There are many options. Books, websites, and your local garden center will all help you decide what kinds of bed to create. Next, what vegetables, fruits, or herbs do you want to plant?  I strongly suggest buying a book that will help you to understand which plants do better planted near each other and which plants need to be planted apart.  Then, draw a diagram of your garden and label where you want to plant each crop.  My next recommendation for strating a garden is to make sure you plant by the signs and moon phases. Underground crops should be planted when the between the full to new moon. Above ground crops should be planted between the new and full moon. The Farmers Almcanc is an excellent resource for this kind of information.  This has been done for hundreds of years and yes it does help your crops to grow better. Next, make sure you know the planting times for your area.  This past weekend we prepared our beds for the season by adding compost.  We also planted our potatos and onions.  In East TN, potatos and cold weather spring crops can be planted from mid to late March.  Next weekend we will be planting peas, cabbage, broccli, and cauliflower.  Lastly, before planting you will need to prepare the soil, in tradational garden, by tilling up the soil or add compost to your raised beds and loosening the compost already there. Make sure you purchase compost from a repitable company that has good quality, well “cooked” compost.  Once you have made your plans and prepared your soil or compost you are ready to begin journey as a gardner. 

Draw and label your garden.

My beds are 4X8 feet. The bottom is screen so moles can’t get to the crops. Never use chemically treated lumber around food.  Ours are treated with Linseed Oil. Electrical PVC  conduit is used for the arches and holders. By aligning them in rows they can all be covered by one large row cover (I ordered one from Amazon) in colder weather, like last April when it snowed! 

Filling the beds with compost.

Planting potatos….

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