by Holly Syx
Growning your own garden is a great way to save money on fruits & veggies. It’s also quite rewarding to be able to feed your family with the fruits of your labor.
Ok, so I know it’s been pretty chilly outside and gardening may be the furthest thing from your mind. But believe it or not now is the time to go ahead & start planning for this year’s garden.
There are several things you can do right now to begin the process:
It will need to be a spot that gets plenty of sunshine during the day as well as have good soil and water drainage. Don’t choose a huge space for your first time. It’s so easy to jump in & go huge the first year. It can quickly become overwhelming.
Gardening know how has a great article here that will help you find just the right spot.
Don’t have good soil? That’s ok. You can build a raised garden & fill it in with soil. Here’s an article that will help you set up your raised bed.
No room? That’s ok too! Try container gardening. A lot of people do it & it’s a great option for folks who have little or no yard space. Go check out this article for more help with starting your container garden.
Choose your plants
This step is going to be different for everyone. What you decide to plant will have a lot to do with what your family likes as well as your garden conditions.
Here’s a great resource here to help you decide and one here with planting guides for 58 different types of vegetables.
Make a plan & map it out on paper
Once you’ve decided how you want to build your garden and what you want to plant now you’re ready to map it out
You’ll also need to make a shopping list for all the supplies you’ll need. You’ll need to consider if you’re starting with seeds or plants. If you’re planning to build a raised bed or container garden you’ll also need to take that into consideration. The staff at a local nursery or garden center can help with that.
Start your Seeds
If you’re going to start with plants then you don’t need to worry about this step, but if you’re planning to start with seeds you can go ahead & start them indoors. You can find the seeds right now in most hardware stores as well as Walmart & Target. You can also purchase them online. Burpee is a great source of seeds online.
Here’s a great resource from Savvy Gardener about starting seeds indoors. I also love this photo tutorial from Renee’s Garden on starting sweet peas with seeds.
Hip Chick Digs has an awesome video on making your planters from newspaper.
Prepare for the Bounty
Once your garden starts producing you’ll not want to waste any of that good stuff you worked so hard for. If your family can’t eat it all at once you can always preserve it in jars or in the freezer.
If you’re planning to do some canning you’ll need a few things such as jars, large canner or pot and a few other things are helpful. Try asking on Freecyle or Craigslist for canning supplies. People often have them & are more than willing to share.
You’ll also want to check out pickyourown.org for tips on preserving. My #1 recommended resource for canning & preserving is the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. It has great tips & recipes for putting up your fruits & veggies.
Here’s his best tip for a new gardener: “The 1st thing to do right now is get your soil ready. Break the ground open and let the cold weather hit it to kill the weeds. When it warms up more till it again & make your rows to get ready for your plants. “