It’s usually a good place to start! For most of us, it’s not really gardening season yet. Most of the United States is in cold and outdoor gardens don’t do very well with freezing temperatures or even the threat of freezing temperatures. However, it’s a perfect time to start planning. It’s like anything else; a well organized plan will make you successful. What can you do right now?
Consider the layout of your garden. Map out where you intend to plant your garden this year and figure out how much space you have. Then consider areas in your yard that have more shade, consider your watering method, soil quality, places for flowers, herbs, hanging pots, shrubs, and vegetables. Nothing says that everything has to be consolidated in one place. When it comes to tomato plants, you may want to isolate them but there are many different ways to integrate cucumbers, grapes, blackberries, herbs, peppers, strawberries, potatoes, carrots and other popular gardening favorites. Your landscape and garden is much like your home; it takes years of trial and error to get it exactly the way you want it. Planning, organizing and putting thought into your gardening design will help you streamline this process.
Dead grass, leaves, Christmas Trees, and food waste can all be used to create great soil. Great soil is a key ingredient to great produce. Build a compost pile or look into compost tumblers. It’s one way to save money on fertilizer, reduce your carbon footprint and make the most out of what you already have.
3. Rain Barrels.
It’s rainy season in many areas. Of course, it’s a frozen tundra in many other areas. Do you collect your rain water? It’s another way to save water and become more efficient. Collecting run off from the roof of your home is a great way to use your rain efficiently for watering your garden, flowers and shrubs. If you don’t collect rain water, you could be more efficient with your home!
If you didn’t use some of your produce for seeds last year, there are plenty of places that sell seeds. Buying seeds and start plants in your home is far cheaper than paying for these plants in the spring. An entire packet of tomato seeds is 1/3 the price of a single starter tomato plant. It just takes a little extra time, a small space and soil to get started. Cutting a plastic bottle (water, gatorade, soda, etc) in half can make a great green house for your seeds year after year. It’s another way to put your waste to good use! You can start your plants inside a few months ahead of planting so you can get an early crop! It’s always nice to get those tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh basil a little early!!!
5. Organic Gardening.
There are so many things that compliment gardening and help you use less chemicals in your soil and for bug repellents. Chickens are a great compliment to organic gardening. The produce great fertilizer with their waste and they love to eat bugs! There are certain plants that help repel bugs as well. Garlic, for example, can serve as natural bug repellents. Raising chickens is becoming more popular. They can be fun pets, produce organic eggs, eat bugs and produce great fertilizer. Talk about efficient! If you live in suburban America, you’ll need to check with your neighbors or HOA but many people are starting to do it. You’ll need a chicken coop, of course. There are many e-books out there to help you along. We were surprise at the number of styles there are for chicken coops! It’s clearly becoming very popular.
Have you considered canning your own vegetables? Do you have supplies, recipes and knowledge on the subject? You can start learning about canning now so that you’re ready to make that wood fired homemade salsa as soon as you grow the ingredients!
It’s fun to start thinking of spring and the new things you’re going to add to your garden this year. Planning, organizing and mentally preparing your garden can be a lot of fun. It can help break up the cabin fever that comes with winter time!