Get Ready to Garden

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only January, but now’s the time to start planning your garden, whether you’re urban homesteading or you’ve got tons of acreage.  What can I do, you might ask, when the ground is frozen and my garden is covered with several inches of snow?

Well, it’s your lucky day, because I’m about to tell you what you can do. :-).

1.  Make your plan.  Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a newbie, now’s the time to assess your property, decide what veggies are going to be in your garden, and how you’re going to maintain that bountiful blessing.

Do you know where your garden plot is going to be?  You might have a yard where there’s a perfect 1/4 acre square in the perfect spot that’s already picked out.  But even if you don’t, there are lots of options available for you, even with limited space.  You can:

-Use planters for your veggies

-Plant around the permimeter of your house

-Grow small plants like herbs indoors

-Use fences and stair rails for vining plants like peas and beans

And decide which veggies you will plant that will be most beneficial to your family.  Don’t plant zucchini if you’ll never eat it.  Look over your weekly grocery lists.  What are you buying on a regular basis?  This is what you’ll want to grow in your garden so you can make sure it’ll be eaten and not wasted.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way to grow your own veggies and save a ton of money on food costs

2.  Buy or harvest your seeds.  Get them now, before March hits and the crowds start flocking to the seed stores and sites.  May I lovingly suggest that you purchase heirloom seeds that are non-GMO?  The cost will be well worth it as you can harvest the seeds from the veggies you grow this year and use them for next year.  We purchase from Seedsavers and some of the other online sites.

3.  Start now, if you’ve got the space.  If you can manage even one tomato plant, start now, and by May you’ll be able to transfer your plants to your outdoor space with them already producing!  Gardening indoors does take a special technique though, so make sure to educate yourself.

Here are some good articles I found for growing and maintaining your indoor garden until you can plant everything outdoors (or not).

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/03/06/starting-seeds-indoors-jump-start-your-garden-today/

http://www.beginner-indoor-gardening.com/indoor-vegetable-garden.html

http://www.gardenweb.com/sesbania/startsds.html

With proper preparation and maintenance, your own veggie garden will not only feed your family for the summer and fall, but freezing and canning techniques (affiliate link) can give you cheap/free veggies and fruits for your family all year around, saving you hundreds of dollars off of your grocery budget.  So start today!

 

3 comments

  1. Laurie says:

    Good luck, Jana! I agree with you: gardening is not my favorite thing. I just try and keep in mind that with the economy the way it is, feeding our family ourselves might be not just for fun, but for necessity! Glad you enjoyed the post, Jana!

  2. David S says:

    I would add that you should be prepared to fail as well. Many people start gardening and then something dies or never produces and they stop saying that gardening never works. Keep a garden log and continue to improve year after year. Persistence eventually pays off.

    And don’t feel bad on having to go out in May and buy plants from the store as all your precious seedlings died when a late spring frost came through.

    • Laurie says:

      David, very good advice – thank you! I love hearing from people who are more experienced and have wisdom to share like yours. Thanks for your input!

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