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Prepping the Garden for Spring

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Prepping the Garden for Spring

During winter’s frigid exit, there’s nothing that makes spring come faster than planning the garden. This is something our whole family loves to do sitting around the table with a big sheet of graph paper and the seed catalogs. Even if you’ve never had one, you’ve got the skills needed to make a small vegetable garden that will produce enough for your family and the neighbors, too.

Start Small
Look for a patch of ground that is about 12’ x 12’ and receives at least six hours of full sun every day. Or consider a container garden or two on your porch if you are limited to no land space. Make sure you have a nearby water source.

Prepare the Soil
My husband bought me a small motorized cultivator for Mother’s Day one year. It was the perfect size to create a nice “loamy” soil. When the dirt is ready to be planted, it should feel soft and a little bit like sand under your feet.

Make Sure the Soil Percolates
As you water, it should absorb into the soil at a steady rate. If water stands on top of the soil, it’s probably got too much clay in it. You’ll want to amend it, and you can do this by visiting an online site for advice, such as your local university’s extension office. Otherwise, water regularly – close to the roots, rather than on the foliage – in the morning or midday to allow sufficient time to dry before nightfall.

Buy the Good Seeds
It is worth the price to pay a little extra to buy quality seeds. You can use a catalog, as I’ve mentioned in past blogs, or visit a garden store, which will have an abundance of free information.

Plant as Directed
Two lessons I learned the hard way: plant according to the directions on the back of the seed packet and mark your rows as you go. Too many times, we’ve planted thinking we’ll know what the row is, only to finish, gaze upon our work and ask each other, “Spinach? Green beans? Corn? Wait, carrots?” Mark your rows as you go, or wait to be surprised.

Have Fun and Involve Your Family

Gardening is interesting, fun and hard work. The number of lessons you can include in your time together is limitless and invaluable. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by!


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Thanks for reading my blog, A Bushel and A Plate.

As a mom who cares about eating good food and knowing the farmer who grew my food, I want to help other families to nourish your families with good, traceable, sustainable food.


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