The snow has not started to melt yet, but your mind is already thinking of spring. Many dream of the crisp air, the blue skies and flowers in bloom all around. Whether you consider yourself a gardening aficionado or a landscaping master, here are a few tips to kick off the gardening season in full swing.
The soil is still very wet? Don’t start planting just yet. It may be tempting to start planting once the snow on the ground has melted, but it may not be the greatest idea. It is best to wait until the soil is moderately dry to start gardening. The soil should be moist but crumble in your hands when trying to make a ball with it. If you want to start even when the soil is a bit wet, try using raised beds.
Start your seedlings indoors. For those living in colder weather, it is a good idea to start seedlings indoors and then transplant them into the garden once they have grown and are strong. One should try to ease the plants when moving them outdoors by taking the pots outside and setting them in a sunny place a few hours at a time, until it is time to transplant them into the ground.
Rotate your crops. Rotate vegetable crops every year to avoid depleting the soil from nutrients and prevent disease. In general, one should stay away from planting the same group of vegetables in the same area year after year. Different vegetables need different nutrients and rotating what you plant will allow the soil to replenish and regain nutrient balance. Likewise, some families of vegetables attract certain types of diseases into the soil, by rotating them you will avoid creating a chronic problem.
Don’t waste your breakfast, use it as fertilizer. Coffee grounds and eggshells are great as fertilizers. Coffee contains nitrogen, which helps with plant growth. Just keep the leftover grounds from your morning coffee in a container and once you have a good amount, add them directly to the soil. Eggshells contain calcium, a nutrient needed to avoid deformed blooms. You can add the whole shells or grind them in a food processor and add them directly to the soil
Water your plants with chamomile tea and cooking water. Once you are done cooking pasta or vegetables, it is a good idea to use the leftover water to water your plants. It contains remnants of minerals and vitamins that can be helpful to your garden. On the other hand, chamomile tea can be very effective in preventing fungal and bacterial infections that are common in plants during the spring; just make sure that you cool down the water or tea before watering your garden.
“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” – Thomas Jefferson