Most of the preparation for the spring garden starts during winter. Use the time to gather vegetable garden ideas, make your plans, and prepare your soil.
Planning what you want to grow and where you want to grow it, is the first step in preparing for spring. It can seem like a daunting task to plan a vegetable garden, but the good news is it gets easier and easier as time goes on. Learn which plants you can grow in your area and choose a spot that will suit their sun needs well. Making a diagram or drawing of how you plan to plant your garden can really help you keep track of things.
What you can plant depends on where you live. Your local garden center will be able to give you good advice on what you should plant and when. If you can find an experienced vegetable gardener in your area, they can usually give you the best advice. Common spring crops include peas, lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, broad beans, carrots, and onions. If you have a long, cool spring, then you can also plant cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and leeks.
It's a good idea to order your seeds in advance. That way you'll have them ready and waiting to sow as soon as the weather is warm enough. There are some wonderful websites with every type of vegetable seed you can imagine (and a bunch that you probably didn't imagine).
Start the process early so that you have enough time to get vegetable garden ideas and really enjoy the process of choosing what you want to grow. If you want to plant seedlings, then wait until the weather is warm enough to plant before you buy them.
Once spring arrives and you're ready to plant, you won't want to waste time building structures or gathering supplies. Some plants like beans, peas, and tomatoes are climbers and need some sort of structure to grow up against. There are loads of options to choose from and winter is the perfect time to do your planning and research. Once you know what you want to use, you can gather your supplies and have everything ready and waiting for spring.
Prune your berries and fruit trees before spring arrives to get the best crops from them. Each tree and berry cane needs to be pruned in a slightly different way, so it's important to make sure you know their needs before you start.
If you still have plants in your vegetable garden, you'll need to clear them before spring so that your soil is ready for new plants. Start by removing any dead summer plants. If you're lucky enough to live somewhere where you can grow plants through winter, then you'll also want to remove any plants that are looking tired or past their best.
Looking after your soil well is important if you want to harvest lots of delicious fruits and vegetables. Well-nourished soil will give you healthier plants and better yields. Improving your soil is simple and it doesn't need to be expensive. Simply add compost to your soil before you plant in spring.
If you're following a no-dig approach, just put a good, thick layer on top. If you're following a more traditional approach, then dig the compost through. If you've planted green manure over winter, then you'll also want to dig that through before spring really gets started.
Top up mulch on any winter plants to keep them warm and growing well into spring. If you plan to plant seedlings into the soil, you can mulch the rest of the garden now too. If you're planting seeds, remember you only want to mulch your plants once they're up and growing, otherwise, the mulch will just smother them.
If you plan to grow your own seedlings, then you'll want to plant them into trays towards the end of winter. Choose a warm, sunny spot where they'll be protected from frost and freezes. If your climate is particularly cold, you can make use of heat mats to give your seedlings enough warmth to germinate.
If you're new to vegetable gardening, then it's a good idea to start small while you learn how everything works. Choose a few plants that are easy to grow and make sure your family likes to eat them. Peas, spring onions, swiss chard, and lettuce are great spring crops for beginners to try.
Flowers are beautiful in a vegetable garden and actually attract helpful insects. You need bees and other helpful insects to pollinate your plants and make sure you get bigger harvests. Spring bulbs are some of the first plants to flower in spring. Plan ahead and plant them at the end of summer to make sure you have a pretty spring garden with lots of happy bees.
A vegetable garden can be a joy and a wonderful way to unwind and save money at the same time. There is nothing quite as lovely as eating a vegetable that you have planned, planted, tended, and harvested. Vegetables from the garden just taste so much better. Check your Save mailer to get the best deals on gardening supplies and have a look at Save to find more ways to save and spark joy at the same time.