Gardening friends, Spring is right around the corner. It will soon be time to pull on your garden gloves and get your hands in the dirt.
Can’t wait? Here is a handful of ways to get you primed for the next good garden season:
Plan your veggie beds:
If you grow a kitchen garden, now is the time to think about what you’ll grow this year. Start with the cool-season crops — lettuce, spinach, cabbage, kale, turnips, carrots – and plan for planting your warm-season favorites when the time is right.
Prep your raised beds:
Those who garden in raised beds know how much easier it is to maintain a kitchen garden:
- The soil in a raised bed warms up earlier in the spring.
- Raised beds drain quickly when it rains.
- The beds grow more food in less space.
- Weed control is easier in a raised bed than in a traditional in-ground garden plot.
Or if you don’t have a raised bed:
Now, before the season kicks into full gear, is a good time to build one. The Garden Center at Gardens of Babylon has everything you need: cedar boards and raised bed kits, along with the soil and plants (in the appropriate season) to fill them and the tools you need to plant and tend to your new garden beds.
No time to DIY? Consider a “Personal Farmer”:
Gardens of Babylon’s Personal Farmer service makes growing food easier, says landscape designer Chloe Barrett. “We offer everything necessary to have a successful home garden, from raised bed design and installation, filling your beds with premium compost, to planning, installing, and maintaining your vegetables for you,” she explains. “We also offer organic fertilization and pest control for the home garden.”
Start seeds indoors:
The time to start seedlings indoors depends on plants’ individual growth rates and the recommended dates in your area for putting plants in the ground. To figure the seed-starting date, start with the recommended planting time, calculate the plant’s germination and growing time (often noted on the seed package), and count back the required number of weeks to reach the date for starting the seeds. A plastic seed-starting tray with a cover, peat or coir pots or seed-starting kits make the job easier, but you can use almost any container that can have drainage holes punched in the bottom.
A light potting mix, plenty of bright light – natural or supplemental – and gentle watering are the secrets to success for starting seeds indoors.
Give perennial beds a head start: The perennials that star in your garden will be coming up soon (if they haven’t already started), so make sure those beds are in good shape. Clear out any unwanted wildflowers (aka “weeds”), prune shrubs as needed appropriate (but not the azaleas or other early-flowering shrubs!), cut back monkey grass and other ornamental grasses before new growth begins. Tidy up the beds with fresh edging and mulch. Check the mulch around shrubs and trees and add more if needed – but don’t pile that mulch up around the trunks. Fertilize perennials, trees and shrubs as needed.
Get your tools ready: If you haven’t already done this, start by cleaning last year’s muck off your trowels, pruners and weeders, rakes, shovels and hoes. Remove any rust with a wire brush, and lubricate any moving parts with household oil. Clean wooden handles with a stiff brush, and sand down any splinters. Store tools out of the weather, and they’ll be ready to begin the gardening season when you are.
Ready to start your raised bed gardens? To book a consultation with a Gardens of Babylon pro or to learn more about Gardens of Babylon’s Personal Farmer service, click here. For all services available, visit the Gardens of Babylon website.