It is finally time to come out of your winter hibernation and get back into the yard. In the Northwest we will be ready to start planting seeds in the garden in just a few weeks. That means it is time to plan and prepare your garden. Start with answering these questions to create your plan:
Update garden structures
Is your garden structurally ready for the new season?
Do your beds need to be updated?
Do you want to make a new bed?
Is there a new vegetable that you want to plant that requires a structure you don’t have, i.e. snap peas?
- The wood around one of my beds is rotting so we need to re-build the bed with new wood.
- Last season I tested a cover on one of my beds and was very pleased with the results, I want to create the same structure on my second bed.
- The structure that holds up our raspberries is rotting so we will update this with new wood and wiring.
- We want to grow snap peas, this means we need a structure that makes it easy for the peas to grow and climb up. We will add a wood frame to a smaller bed so that we can tie string from top to bottom of the bed so the peas can climb up the string.
Prepare your soil
Once all the structures are in place, you need to prepare your soil. Check out Preparing garden beds for planting to learn how to create a healthy foundation for your veggies.
Decide what you will grow
Most importantly, have you thought about what you want to grow? Think about the entire year, Spring – Fall, so you can efficiently plan the rotation of crops and ensure there is always something growing. Check out Planning your garden beds to help you decide what to seed.
My thought process:
- Make a list with your family of all the vegetables that you want to eat this year
- Categorize these into Spring, Summer, and Fall
- Decide which vegetables you will plant in each bed, consider rotating your crops (if you grew Lettuce in bed 1 last year, grow it in bed 2 this year), also consider what grows best together
- Determine how much square footage you will allocate to each crop
This should give you a fairly solid plan for what you want to seed and where.
Take inventory of your garden supplies and seeds
Do you have seeds left from last year that you can use this year?
What seeds do you need to buy?
Do you have fertilizer? Consider making your own
Need new gloves? shovels? A cover for your bed?
Set a date for when you will plant your seeds. Depending on the answers to your questions above, create a work back schedule so you can get everything ready before your planting date. It will sneak up on you!
Cheers to a new season of seeding, sprouting, and enjoying good whole food!