Planning ahead seems to always help, but in the fresh spring days, when everything seems possible and we are drawn outdoors, and the call of those fresh green shoots are beckoning, well, planning just goes flying out the window. So here find a quick list to just keep in mind for your spring garden, and one that will help you keep it going through the summer and fall.
- Quick and easy with metal corners and 2”x12” lumber (www.gardenbootcamp.com)
- A 4’x8’ bed takes 1 cubic yard of planting mix
- Locate bed where there is at least 6 hours of sun each day, 12 hours is optimal !
- Use surface mounted drip emitterline (netafim techline is excellent)
- Raised Beds heat up quicker and jumpstart your vegetables
- Use a diluted/light liquid fertilizer only after your seedlings are up and showing true leaves (Maxsea)
- Protect from birds and bunnies with either overturned strawberry baskets or floating row cover
- Use teepees for early snow peas, and then follow with pole beans, tomatoes, or cukes on same system
General Veg Gardening
- Keep a garden hose with a soft spray head on hand
- Watch for aphids and white fly on your plants, spray with water stream to knock them off
- Develop the habit of checking over your garden daily and pulling any weeds immediately
- If you have weeds, and no time, at minimum snap off any buds or flowers to prevent seeds from developing
- Add organic matter to your beds regularly to feed the microbes, earthworms and the soil; side-dressing plants during growing season is better than nothing if you did not get your soil fully amended early
- Organic matter is a much better and systemic nutrient reservoir for plants, especially heavy feeding vegetables.
- Wood ash is a wonderful amendment, as is leaf mold (the bottom layer of your stacked up leaf litter)
- Phase your plantings! Start your tomatoes early, but you can plant carrots, bush beans and leafy greens for 2-3 crops over the growing season….start early.
- For quick success choose the following:
- Non-bell peppers (Giant Marconi is excellent)
- Haricot vert green beans (Blue Lake 274)
- Purple Rain Eggplant
- Carrots (Baby or Chantenay)
- Superstar Onions
- Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Sugar Peas (Oregon Sugar or Mamouth Sugar)
- English Peas (Little Marvel or Mr. Big)
- Cucumbers (Sweet Success)
- Thicker skinned melons of most any kind
With all of these plants, remember that they thrive on attention, but do not necessarily thrive on being drowned…..so don’t over water, and don’t under water…..balance is the key to everything in life, right?