Gardening: Let’s Get Started!
It’s finally time to start working on our gardens again! I’m so excited. Last year was the first year I had my own full garden, and God provided such a bounty out of it! I started small, learned what I needed and what I didn’t need, and learned what I need to do differently. Now I’m ready for a bigger, better, more functional garden this year!
First thing’s first. You need to plan and plot. I took a sheet of grid paper and just made some rough sketches.
I’m planting green beans, peas, corn, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin, watermelon, cantaloupe, two kinds of tomatoes, two kinds of cucumbers, green peppers, hot peppers, turnips, onions, garlic, horseradish, and I’m going to have a weekly rotation going of lettuce, carrots, and radishes. In my herb garden, I’ll grow basil, oregano, parsley, chives, tarragon, dill, thyme, and cilantro.
Once you’ve plotted and determined what you’re going to grow, you need to get seeds (if you plan to grow any from seeds.) I had tremendous luck last year with starting everything from seeds, so I’m going to do that again this year.
Some seeds can be pre-planted. This week, I intend to use some seeding trays and plant:
onion, both kinds of peppers, the tomatoes, and some spinach greens
Some plants roots don’t like to be disturbed during the transplant process. So, instead of a tray, I’m going to plant the following in individual peat pots, which I will place directly into the ground when it’s time, instead of actually transplanting:
cantaloupe, cucumber, pumpkin, yellow squash, watermelon, and zucchini
I’ve determined the time for me to start planting my seeds now based on the fact that I live in Zone 6, and have about 6 more weeks before the last worry about a frost.
For detailed determining if you need to plant now or wait a little longer, visit this site: The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone.
My plan is to discuss gardening every Monday. So, next week we’ll look at how my planted seeds look and discuss building a raised garden to start planting some of the more hardy plants. My cilantro and leaf lettuce need to be planted two to three weeks before our last frost, so I want to make sure I can hit that window of time.
If this is your first year gardening, something you need to consider before you start: it takes time. At first, it’s just every couple of days while you weed and water. As the summer progresses, it’s every day, weeding, watering, battling bugs. By the end of summer and into fall, you need to realize that there are entire days where you’re going to be doing nothing but picking food, digging up food, putting food up, preserving, freezing, canning — the floors will go unswept and windows unwashed. THAT’s OKAY. I’m not trying to dissuade you. I just want your eyes open going into it.
Nothing is more satisfying that opening a jar of green beans and serving them to your family, knowing that you grew that healthy wonderful bounty from a single seed. Few things are more delicious than a loaf of zucchini bread fresh from the oven.
SO- make your lists. Draw your plans. Go buy seeds and trays and soil. If you’re in a good zone for it, start some seeds. I’ll meet you back here next week and we’ll talk about it some more.
May God bless you with a bountiful harvest!
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Last year was the first year that I planted a garden with the intent on feeding my family from it (previous years I had just planted “fun” things like pumpkins). I started off small with 4 zucchini plants and 3 rows of carrots. My zucchini plants did AWESOME (and we ate fresh from the vine zucchini for many months), but my carrots needed a lot more sun (though they wound up being tasty “baby” carrots LOL).
I just tilled my soil yesterday to allow the oxygen to get in there so I can mix in my topsoil next weekend and *plant* my first round by Sunday. My garden plan this year is:
2 zucchini plants and a row of carrots next weekend (March 7).
A small raised bed of green onions and a row of artichokes (new for me!) the following weekend (March 14).
2 zucchini plants and two rows of carrots the following weekend (March 21).
We of course also have our lime, avocado and apple trees to harvest from this year.
I am so excited! What are you including in your early-Spring garden?
yay the post ive been waiting for. although we won’t be starting from seeds…i know it would be cheaper, but i have no place to put them in my house so we will be buying the plants when they come out. i want to try potatoes and onions so i have to read up how to do those…i use these a lot. im going to try NOT to kill the garden…
I’m doing potatoes in a big garbage can. I’ll post details about it next week. I’m really looking forward to seeing how that goes!
The only thing I can plant this early is carrots, lettuce, and onions. Last year, we still had snow mid-March, so I have to be careful. I’m doing a separate raised bed of lettuce and another one of carrots and radishes that I’m going to rotate planting once a week — so that I have fresh salad greens and makings all summer and fall.
My apple tree produced so much year before last that I didn’t even know how to keep up with them. This last year, there was nothing. I’m hoping it’s like a pecan tree and does every-other-year! HAHA. I would love citrus – that’s awesome.
What are you doing with the lime?
great post. We are doing an herb garden. The veggies just seems too complicated for me and I just don’t have time right now. Hopefully I can grow some herbs though
Yeah, we will likely only have a couple of nights of cold that will require me to go outside and cover the seedlings. We had so much rain this year, that I am certain my garden will be amazing.
Do you do regular onions? I am doing green onions, but I was considering white onions also. How much space do you need for them (I am short on “full sun” space, which is why zucchini thrive in my garden).
I was also considering a raised bed of spinach or, maybe, a pot. Have you ever done spinach? How much sun does it need and/or can tolerate?
We use our lime tree year around. Nothing is better on grilled meat!!
My parents have a peach-tree that produces mass amounts of fruit every other year. :)
I love gardening! I’m excited to start planting in ours in about a month’s time! :)
I’m going to be attempting my first garden this year. I’m starting small since I have no idea what I’m doing. lol Tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, zucchini, and watermelon. I’ll be keeping up with your blog for ideas and tips.
I’m not much of a garderner but I appreciate someone who is. Looks like you have a great plan underway. Good luck. I hope the deer leave it alone and you have a plentiful harvest. =)
Talk about “thou shall not covet”….
Seriously trying not to be jealous of your garden plans!!
I am so blessed to have a balcony with our apartment that I can have potted plants…. but I cannot WAIT to have a YARD where my children and I can PLAY in the DIRT!! :) I can’t wait to see what you have planned!
April, I started “small” last year too with zucchini as part of my garden. Who knew they take up a LOT of space…as do Watermelon. Check the recommended spacing on the seed packets while you create your plan. I didn’t and I wound up having to pull so many seedlings that didn’t have enough room to grow. :(
To add to that, speaking from my experience, I had 3 zucchini plants and they were MORE THAN enough. Zucchini plants produce and produce and produce.
I did a total of 4 zucchini last year, planting 2 and then waiting 4 weeks and planting 2 more. We ate zucchini several nights a week for Months.
I am so jealous of people who can have gardens!! I so desperately want one but I am terrible at it.
I kill plants all the time, or else I would totally garden. My killing of plants goes as far as killing fake trees too. lol..its a hilarious story I will have to tell you sometime. Instead of planting, I will just drool over your bounty :)